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Thread: Banished Words for 2021

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    Banished Words for 2021

    The long national nightmare is over! (No, we still have about 19 days to wait for that one to end, God willing!) I mean the wait for the Annual List of Banished Words. Here's the 2021 Version.

    One new feature of the web page: a definition of each of the banished words, along with reason for its inclusion.

    Fellow NitLetters may remember my aversion to the use of "reference" as a verb. It appears in LSSU's description of "pivot," but I agree with the critique itself. (Yesterday a political reporter had a little fun with the words "pivot" and "divot," concerning the Golfer-in-Chief.)

    This year I've heard some words which have moved from the realm of nouns to verbs:

    "Caveat," as in "I'll caveat that statement with a word of advice." Granted: the ancient Latin word stems from a two-word hortatory expression, "Caveat emptor." But the literal translation of "Let the. . ." sounds peculiar when used as a straight-up verb in English.

    "Distance" (as in "social distancing" in the LSSU list) similarly contains a noun as part of a verb phrase, often as a split infinitive: "to social(ly) distance." What strikes me funny is that the phrase "social distant" once described a person who freely avoids parties and conviviality — a "cold fish", or as in the cliché about an alleged perpetrator, "he kept to himself."

    The word "transition" has been a noun, at least as long as yours fooly can remember (and that's a long, long time.) A verb usually precedes the word; for instance, "Help me make a smooth transition into geezerhood." But this past year, I've been hearing "transition" as a stand-alone verb.

    "Transition" as a verb has popped up in several statements about a certain event to occur on January 20 in the USA (or at least scheduled as such.) But more likely you'll hear the word in terms of education: "Middle schools and high schools will transition into a virtual learning environment."

    I'd love to see members of NitLet "community" tell us which words and phrases from 2020 (or any year) ought to be banished. (Note that I didn't say "need to be" as a euphemism for "should" or "must.")

    Post 'em right on this thread.

    Oh, and Happy New Year! (Whatever happens, it can't be any worse than 2020. Can it?)


    https://www.lssu.edu/traditions/banishedwords/#toggle-id-1
    Last edited by AuntShecky; 12-31-2020 at 04:01 PM.

  2. #2
    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    The seemingly obligatory "Thank you for having me," by TV guests on CNN, as opposed to "Thank you for inviting me."

    Happy New Year Aunty.

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    As an non native it would be difficult for me to contribute to this list, but two words caught my eyes:

    Sus- It is by coincidence, the shortage of the name of the Brazilian national health system, Sistema Único de Saúde.

    Karen-How was poor Karen drawn into this?

    Personally I also would like to be able to banish the expression "new normal". I long for the normal being just again normal.

    And the not so small word efficacy, as the possibility of mass vaccination in my country hinges around it.

    A healthy and happy 2021 to all of you!
    Last edited by Danik 2016; 01-01-2021 at 12:24 PM.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

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    I agree with banning the "Thank you for having me" line, Manichaean. And Danik, "the new normal" was one of the expressions I was going to add today. Thank you both for weighing in.

    Now, "Wait for it. . .wait for it." (How irritating is that expression? Nothing like drawing attention to a surprise that should be self-evident.
    It's similar to what E. B. White wrote that using more than one exclamation point: "It's like laughing at one's own jokes." (No offense, Conan.)

    And there's still some national misunderstanding of the apostrophe. I saw this in an ad: "Our's is cheaper!!" (With two exclamation points.)

    Also, how about the term "reimagine"? It's worse than "rethink."

    Keep posting these, NitLetters. It's a mild way of indulging in the Great American Pastime: righteous indignation.
    Last edited by AuntShecky; 01-02-2021 at 05:45 PM.

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    Weather reports: "Peaks of sun" when they mean "peeks."

    More and more I'm seeing the word "roll" confused with the noun "role." It popped up just a few minutes ago, on msn.com of all places. Those editors should know better!
    (Maybe that's how they "role.")

  6. #6
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Hi, Auntie!

    Had a peek at the word "peek" but am still a bit confused.
    Here is what I found: https://www.vocabulary.com/articles/...ak-peek-pique/
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

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    Wait until you throw in the different pronunciations!

    My favourite USA / UK ones are the words, "route, root & rout."

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