Crossword Bebop has a post about Lake Superior State University's 2008 list of banned words and phrases (and another about whether any of 2007's exiles should be rehabilitated). I'm using that post as a springboard for starting my own list of nominations. Here goes:
* Rant as a synonym for "opinion piece." It's overused and hard on the ears, too.
* To perfection, preceded by any culinary verb (cooked, grilled, etc.) for being grossly overused (pun intended) and for being meaningless. There is no "perfection" in most cooking techniques, only "right" and "wrong."
* Go down, as in, "Here's how it went down." If you are a soldier discussing a combat situation, or a cop discussing criminal violence, you may be allowed an exception. Otherwise, forget it. You just sound like a wanna-be.
* Spinning in his (her) grave. It was funny as a form of hyperbole the first time. Now it has lost its impact and is just macabre.
* Anti-choice as a synonym for "anti-abortion," for being disingenuous.
* Preborn baby, nominated in the spirit of balancing the list politically, for just plain sounding stupid. For the record: I am ardently pro-life. I just hate this term.
* Illegal alien. "Alien" lost its common meaning as "foreigner" long ago, and now it means "non-human extraterrestrial." That makes it an annoyingly dehumanizing form of rhetoric when applied to people.
* Breed when applied to humans. Often found in constructions like, "People like that shouldn't be allowed to breed" or "People should take parenting classes before they breed." This ugly term ties with "illegal alien" for most dehumanizing. Breeding is for animals; humans have children.
* Literally -- conditionally banned. It may be used as the antonym of "figuratively" (its literal meaning), but never again as a modifier to indicate intensity.
* Sales event was banished in 2005. I would like to affirm my support for eternal banishment of this term.
What would you nominate for the list?
LSU's complete list is here.