Last Chance To Enter Words/Phrases For Banishment

[ Posted Tuesday, December 29th, 2009 – 16:27 UTC ]

Program Note: First off, my apologies for the brevity of today's offering. But, in exchange, we are promising you instead a column this Thursday, on New Year's Eve itself. And don't forget to tune in Friday, for Part 2 of our Annual "McLaughlin Awards," as well, on New Year's Day.

Thursday's column, with luck, will be another year-end tradition -- the annual "banished words" list from northern Michigan. Last year, I wrote about the list and had such fun doing so that I'm going to end 2009 by doing the same. But this means that today is pretty much the last chance you have to enter phrases you'd like banned from everyday usage by your peers. And 2009 was a rich year for grating phrases, from "death panels" to "teabaggers." In any case, check out the official Lake Superior State University "Banished Words" site, and enter your nominations today!

Personally, I would be happy at this point to settle for a one-year moratorium on any phrase which includes any derivative of "end of the decade." For those of us able to count from one to ten comes a big huge Bronx cheer to everyone making "X of the decade" or "decade of the X" lists or analogies.

A quick review, for the mathematically-challenged is in order. There was no year zero in our calendar. The first decade went from year 1 A.D. to year 10 A.D. Got that? It's as easy as counting from one to ten! The 200th decade (and the second millennium) ended on December 31, 2000. The 201st decade ends next year, on December 31, 2010. Not two days from now.

Hmph. So there.

Anyway, other news around the headquarters is our upgrade is proceeding apace, and we hope to usher in some new changes this weekend. This may slip to the next weekend, though, depending on how many technical hurdles I have to cross between now and then. Hopefully this will go smoothly, with no interruptions in service (knock wood). The only differences you will see while visiting the site afterwards are a new login page and new user preferences page. The content will be similar, with a few added attractions. Most of what I've been doing is technical, behind-the-scenes stuff, creating a framework that will hopefully work the first time I try it. Other, more visible changes will follow in the weeks and months to come, after the framework proves to be stable. But we're largely keeping our style intact, and will not do a complete redesign of the site itself, rest assured.

If there are any minor stylistic points (about text, layout, how things appear in your browser, etc.) that bug you about the site, now is the time to let me know about them. They likely won't be fixed before the upgrade, but I can take a look at them afterwards, and try to fix minor problems for everyone. Just drop me a note and let me know if you have any problems or suggestions. No suggestion is too small to be considered, either, so don't be shy.

Thanks, and sorry again for the "extended program note" instead of a column today. Once we get upgraded, we promise we'll return to a normal publishing schedule here, and stop with the annoying program notes and column re-runs!


-- Chris Weigant

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


8 Comments on “Last Chance To Enter Words/Phrases For Banishment”

  1. [1] 
    Hawk Owl wrote:

    I've noticed that "back in the day" seems to have become a universal catch-phrase just within the last few weeks. It's not really irritating except it's used so clumsily so often.

    MOST OF ALL, though, I would ban the use of any "D"
    words by that epitome of Adrenalin Journalism: The Weather Channel. Just about every event they highlight is DEADLY, DANGEROUS, DEVASTATING, DESTRUCTIVE, DRAMATIC and sometimes DIRE.

    If you're waiting and waiting for some actual weather it really gets to you after awhile.

  2. [2] 
    Osborne Ink wrote:

    "Mistakes were made." Those three words make me grind my teeth. Not only is that phrase in the passive voice, as if the mistakes just happened all by themselves, but it has the added craptastical effect of putting them in the past, even if the effect of the mistake is ongoing.

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:


    If you're waiting and waiting for some actual weather it really gets to you after awhile.

    Well said and oh so true. Being one of the bullseyes for the Hurricane Season, I completely agree with this.


  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    Nomination for Banishment.

    "One Man's Terrorist Is Another Man's Freedom Fighter"

    The BIGGEST piles of crap of ALL the piles of crap there are in the entire universe...


  5. [5] 
    kevinem2 wrote:

    I hope I'm not too late..."meme" just shrieks poseur to me. My other picks are only a dream...Palin, Cheney, Beck, Limbaugh, Coulter, Taitz, and too many other alien life forms to number. Wait, musn't forget Bachmann.

  6. [6] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Hawk Owl -

    Welcome to the site! I have to agree, "back in the day" is indeed annoying.

    Tune in Friday, media weather coverage is getting a McLaughlin award....

    Osborne Ink -

    I have to agree, the passive "mistakes were made" annoys the heck out of me, too.

    Michale -

    Wasn't that a Ronald Reagan quote? Talking about the Nicarauguanians or someone?

    kevinem2 -

    This one is a pet peeve of mine, too, and I don't believe I've ever written the word "meme" in an article, even though it is tempting at times. But I just can't bring myself to use it....

    Please, please, let's all of us (Minn. voters included) forget Bachmann... sigh.

    To all -

    Sorry I haven't been as active as usual in the comments, been working on the site every spare moment I get. Big changes may or may not happen this weekend... I will keep everyone posted.


  7. [7] 
    Osborne Ink wrote:

    In defense of "meme," it's become a technical term for those who study media. A meme is an idea that transmits from mind to mind, and you cannot study both politics and media without understanding how they work. That's why I'm so happy with Maddow's recent work on the John Birch Society; she identified the source of all wingnut memes and how they were recycled for the summer of tea parties.

    So as long as it's kept in context it works just fine. in fact, Maddow is to be praised for avoiding the use of the term.

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Wasn't that a Ronald Reagan quote? Talking about the Nicarauguanians or someone?

    I tried to find the origins or first use of the saying, but no luck.

    While it's annoying as hell that someone as great a leader as Reagan would use such a blatantly dumb slogan, in his defense we know a lot more about terrorism in the here and now than we did back then.


    I stated back in late 2001 that 9/11 was the "End of Innocence" with regards to the American people and terrorism.

    Suffice it to say that the statement "One Man's Terrorist Is Another Man's Freedom Fighter" is THE most moronic phrase in the human language and shows a depth of utter stupidity and complete ignorance never before seen in the human race.


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