Archives: Banished Words 1980
The Word Scourge
of the '70's
Yuh Know, twice banished,
in a dead heat with Have A Nice Day, a
banality done to death and used instead of sincere words
with real meaning. Several Editorials and letters
castigated the Unicorn Hunters "for banishing this
nice phrase" and urged reconsideration. The Unicorn
Hunters announced a recall referendum an "Have A
Nice Day" lost, ten to one.
Ball Park Figure - (indicating
an estimate). A disservice to the great sport which is
accurately documented by statistics, ad nauseam. - Prof.
Allen D. Bushong, U. of S. Carolina.
Time Frame - Replaced
"point in time" as a pretentious redundancy.
Used by Rep Candidate George Bush "... in the time
frame of the next 20 years" and the Shah of Iran's
spokesman, "We have no time frame for his departure."
Why not, "We don't know when he'll leave"?
Howard Cosell, En Masse -
Banished to Neebish Island and its Great Grey Owls.
Limited to 14 staff writers and dictionaries and Fowler's
"English Usage" for reading. - Ed Werstein,
Milwakee, Wis. It is estimated that this banishment will
eliminate 33% of the language crisis on continental U.S.A.
Note: Following Dissatisfaction expressed
with the site of banishment by residents of Neebish
Island, banishment changed to Zug Island in the Detroit
Reading Aloud - by TV
announcers of printed words displayed on the screen.
Do-able - Massachusetts
Gov. Edward King's statement, "a 0 million
rollback we think is do-able." - Fred Bauer,
In The Public Interest - Employed
by groups which often include only a few members
representing interests no broader than their own, but who
announce a position claiming "the public"
shares their views. - Geoffrey E., Phoenix, Arizona.
It's The Pits - Isn't
necessarily that bad. - Gregory J. Pittz, Belmont, Wis.
Surely - if we can send
a man to the moon we can... - Monte Hummell, Innis
College, University of Toronto.
Interface - Used by
anyone other than seamstresses, geometricians, or
computer operators. - Peggy Elder, New Mexico State
University, who writes: "This is a noun; a plane
surface forming the common boundary of two bodies or
spaces. It may fit into the world of the computer, but to
shift its meaning to human beings is an obscenity. If we
can't relate with each other we might as well retreat to
the forest and let computers have their way."
Podium - Where one means
"lectern." One stands behind a lectern which
rests on a podium. - Bernard S. Katz, Washington, D.C.
Chill Out - Used to and/or
by children; nominated by many students from P.S. No. 109,
N.Y.C. and Monica Swift of P.S. 20Q, Jamaica, N.Y., along
with "you are fat," "you stink."
"you're ugly," "shut up," "hand
up your clothes," "clean up your room,"
and "go to bed."
Come Down On - Meaning
"this is our position;" forbidden to
educational administrations and bureaucrats, as in "institutionally,
we come down on the liberal side." It implies that
the policy was arrived at lightly, as in tossing a coin.
No Problem - Forbidden
to policy makers and supervisors. - Leland D. Ester,
Lawrence University, Appleton, Wis. who observes: "Whenever
I raise a question about something that is not going well
and someone tells me 'no problem' there is almost
invariably a problem."
Pre-Board - Used by
airport announcers. - Andrew Dantschisch, St. Petersburg,
Fla. How can one board an airplane before one has boarded
Tasker - A memo or
document instructing someone to carry out a task. - Dr.
Robert C. Larson, U.S. Forces Liaison Officer, Baden-Wuertemberg,
who is fearful that this word now commonly infesting U.S.A.
military in Germany will spread to the continental U.S.A.
in epidemic proportions. He recommends a one-year word
The Athens Of The... -
Referring to a town in a specific area, as in "Madison
is the Athens of the Midwest." - John N. Koch,
Madison, Wis. writes: "I suspect that residents of
many cities large enough to support high school marching
bands have been told theirs is 'The Athens' of their
region, but never on what authority. Let's place a
moratorium on the expression until Athens proudly
proclaims itself 'The Chicago of Grece,'" Done!