Never being one to turn down a challenge–at least from the incomparable Izzybella–I must perforce present to you this post, including every word/phrase on Lake Superior State University’s 2008 List of Banished Words.
Post 9/11, many wordsmiths have been thrown under the bus for their continual and–might I point out–incorrect usage of the word “decimate” (which, of course, refers to reducing by 1/10th, not completely annihilating). Said wordsmiths are responsible for a perfect storm of inaccurate reporting, such as “Orange is the new pink,” (which, as anyone who has seen Legally Blonde knows, is totally bogus). I propose that a webinar be immediately set up to address these issues. Pedants might think that these wordsmiths should be waterboarded, and one might think that I, a noted pedant, might agree. I do not. Their behavior is totally organic; they’re creating their own version of the English language, and I say, go team! (Not really; I tend to twitch every time I hear people dramatically abuse my beloved language. Ask C and A-Banana, who laughed every time I shuddered when C said something about the most smartest something-or-other.) Whoever authored that concept should be hanged, drawn, and quartered. But I digress.
There has been an incredible surge of such word usage. Why is this? I personally believe it is a direct result of people shopping on Black Friday. It has been scientifically proven that there is a direct correlation between the number of hours spent shopping on Black Friday, the amount of money spent, the number of people with whom one has gotten into physical altercations, and the reduction of brain cells.
It’s time for us to stop berating these poor wordsmiths, and give back to the community of people who like to author books and articles. Let them retain their dignity. I mean, back in the day Shakespeare was lauded for creating new words and turns of a phrase. True, he was totally random, but what’s wrong with that? Think of some of Shakespeare’s most famous quotations–”Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments; Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.” That’s totally sweet! What’s not to love about that? I get all emotional just thinking about it. In the preceding quotation, the word “true” really makes the whole thing just pop!
In conclusion, don’t waste your energy fighting the syndrome. I mean, it is what it is. Let it be.