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2012 Banned Words List: ‘Fiscal Cliff,’ ‘Bucket List,’ And ‘Spoiler Alert’ Should Be Banished From English Language

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Spoiler alert: “Fiscal cliff,” “trending,” and “bucket list” have been named to Northern Michigan’s Lake Superior State University annual banned words list. And yes, “spoiler alert” has also made the list.

The annual list nominates 12 words that should be banned from the English language for “Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness.”

People from around the country submit words that they wish to nominate for the list, and Northern Michigan’s Lake Superior State University cuts it down to create the annual banned words list. This is the 38th time the university has created the list.

Several of the words on the list come from politics and news coverage. Words like “fiscal cliff,” “kick the can down the road,” and “job creators” are generally hated for the overuse and hollow meanings.

Kathryn, from Ohio, nominated “kick the can down the road,” writing: “I can’t turn on the TV any more without being informed that can-kicking has occurred. What’s wrong with the word ‘postpone’?”

“Passionate” is another word that earned its spot on the list from overuse. George Alexander of California writes: “Diabetes is not just Big Pharma’s business, it’s their passion! This or that actor is passionate! about some issue somewhere. A DC lobbyist is passionate! about passing (or blocking) some proposed law. My passion! is simple: Banish this phony-baloney word.”

Other words, like “Yolo,” spawn from pop culture. “Yolo” earned it’s rightful place on the list this year because people are afraid that the term “you only live once” justifies doing something really stupid.

Daniel from North Carolina writes: “Just gives people, especially teens, a reason to do stupid things. I find it annoying and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone here.”

“Spoiler Alert” is not only overused, but it’s also abused and incorrectly used. Joseph Joly writes: “Used as an obnoxious way to show one has trivial information and is about to use it, no matter what.”

Here is the 2012 banned words list.

Fiscal Cliff
Kick the can down the road
Double Down
Job creators
Passionate
Yolo
Spoiler alert
Bucket list
Trending
Super Food
Boneless Wings
Guru

What do you think of the banned words list? You might also want to check out the most annoying words of 2012.

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