Wednesday Reads: "banned" edition

verb, officially or legally prohibit

So who knew that each year a list of banned words is published? I assume this means we can no longer use them or we will be looked down upon by the people who made or read the list. (Pretty sure this number might be low.)  The list, verbosely titled “List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse, and General Uselessness,” is created each year by Michigan’s Lake Superior University. Among the new words banned are “baby bump,” “a-ha moment,” “man cave,” and “ginormous.”(You can check out the full list here.)

I gotta say that these words are rightfully being retired; however, I also admit that I’m pretty sure that I’ve never even used “baby bump.” Because when I was pregnant and feeling like a fat penguin, it never occurred to me that I was simply showing a baby bump. That was definitely too sweet and cute of a word, especially after a weigh-in at the doctor’s office where I gained 7 pounds in one month.

Back to the point, reading the list encouraged me in two ways. First, I was forced to think of words I’m really sick of hearing: the bomb dot com, brotha, seriously,  awesome, and like.

Secondly, as a writer, it reminded me that the best writing is always full of new ways to say things. Truth is, we are all bored by speakers and writers who use the same phrases or vocabulary over and over again. However, those writers and speakers who constantly help us see the world in a new way with their word combinations thrill us. A story told with clarity and the perfect word is one we share with others, one we read again, one that gets in our hearts and changes us.

That’s the kind of writer I want to be. That’s the kind of speaker I want to be. One who doesn’t stick with frayed phrases and dilapidated denotations. So I’m creating a list of words that need to leave my world’s daily dictionary.

Wanna join in on the fun?  Simply comment on the word(s) you feel should no longer be used in conversations, books, newscasts, or speeches. Assume your royalty and contribute your own words to the “List of Words Banished from Everyday English for Misuse, Overuse, and General Uselessness.” Can’t wait to hear from you!


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