Dead Language: The Words and Phrases We Could Live Without in 2013

The good folks over at Lake Superior State University (and I’m using “good folks” here as politicians use it — to indicate I have no idea who these people are), have compiled a year-end list of words and phrases that their “activist grammarians” (there’s nothing quite as precious as the business card of an academic) would like to see banned in 2013 due to abuse or overuse. The roster:

  • Fiscal cliff

  • Double down
  • Job creators/creation
  • Passion/Passionate
  • YOLO
  • Spoiler Alert
  • Bucket list
  • Trending
  • Superfood
  • Boneless Wings
  • Guru
  • Kick the can down the road

I’m sympathetic to many of these (we already have a term for boneless wings — “meat”). “Trending” and “spoiler alert”, however, seem to fill legitimate verbal needs — I think the real objection there might have more to do with how people use them (or what kind of people use them).

As ever, I also nominate “an adult conversation” for the list. And while we’re at it, “organically,” “sustainable,” and the rampant misuse of “literally” all have to to go (not since “liberal” has a word become so unmoored from its original meaning).

What words or phrases do you think we’d be better off without in 2013?