Archives: Banished Words 1981
Campaign Rhetoric - A
misleading expression used by politicians to play down the
fact that they were lying. - e.g., Detroit's Mayor
Coleman Young: "When I called him 'pruneface' that
was campaign rhetoric. In the future I'll call him '
Serves No Useful Purpose -
Vague and cover. The speaker actually means, "I don't
know exactly why it is that I don't want to do it, but
whatever you say I'm not going to do it."
Moral Majority - "I'm
not sure how moral they are, but I'm convinced they are
not a majority." - Micheal R. Moloney in Lexington,
Ky. radio interview. He is believed to be a Southern
Democrat of the Anti-Happy Chandler scion.
Past History- (Redundancy
Red Alert). There was some debate that science-fiction
writers might be allowed to use "future history"
in conjunction with "past history." - Louise
Knack, Sharon, Wisconsin, nominator.
Exact Same - Which is
not to be confused with "Same difference,"
generally used in satirical vein. - Kathleen S. Painter,
Fort Collins, Colorado, nominator.
Fruitworthy - Does this
refer to third rate entertainers worthy of being pelted
with ripe fruit? The word appears to have been coined by
Chicago's Mayor Jane Byrne who hoped on radio that "the
investigation will prove fruitworthy." - Chicago
Tribune, December 1, 1980 - However, the chicago Tribune
(January 4, 1981 editorial: A Fruitworthy Discourse)
maintains that this is a good word. "More generally,
the quality of fruitworthiness is a mixture of
accomplishment and rightness of purpose. And in this
sense, Mayor Byrne's use of 'fruitworthy' was 'fruitworthy'
indeed . . . In a city where the late Mayor Richard J.
Daley praised the labyrinthine O'Hare Airport as the 'crosswords'
of the nation and said he resented the 'inuendos' of
his critics, she upholds a grand tradition as well."
Funeralized - as in a
Detroit Free Press death notice.- James Sandry,
Farmington Hills, Michigan, nominator.
Our Craft, Paid My Dues, &
Surviving - Used endlessly by entertainers in
talk-show interviews. The latter phrase should be
restricted to overcoming drowning, earthquakes, wars and
such incidents as the French Revolution. ("J'si
survecu.") An amendment to banish talk shows as the
hotbeds of mis- mal- and over-use they are, was soundly
defeated 18 to 17
For Sure - in place of
"yes." - Dick Longworthy, Chicago, nominator,
who said, "Can one imagine Molly, in the final
titanic lines of 'Ulysses," crying, 'For sure! For
De-plane - as one of
many airport and airplane public address words with which
passengers have expressed discontent. Perhaps the heart
of the matter is not words per se, but constant
repetition of the news that "if your plane falls
into the sea your seat cushion will float even if you don't."
- Charlotte Kratt, Birmingham, Alabama, nominator
Share & Adult - (Limited
banishments: good words gone wrong and forbidden certain
classes of speakers) Preachers and after dinner speakers
may not use "share" - Robert Sears, Roanoke,
Virginia, nominator. May be used rebread crusts or on
Wall St. which actually means "shut up and listen to
this boring thing I'm going to tell you." "Adult"
- Observed nominator Katharine E. Miller of Ventura,
California: "We wait more than 20 years to become
one only to find that it now means 'obscene.' An adult
bookstore should sell Jane Austen and John Galsworthy,