Archives: Banished Words 1983
Reganomics - Received
more nominations than any other word, reflecting, perhaps,
dissatisfaction with the results rather than the actual
word. Some pointed out that the President never used the
term. Michael R. Moloney, Lexington, Ky,: "It wasn't
invented by the president, he doesn't know what it is,
nobody understands it, and it isn't working." Daniel
L. Bammes, Salt Lake City, Utah: "Nobody at home or
abroad knows what it is."
Banishments - for the
over-application of words with otherwise limited meanings:
State Of The Art - which
is applied to everything from plastic garbage to the Mona
Lisa. Denny MacGougan, Tacoma, Wash., points out "latest
design" or "modern" would suffice.
Conceptualization- Advertising agency, business
conference, and bureaucratic jargon for "think up"
or "idea," as in "Is this match book cover
you conceptualization?" or "Lets conceptualize a
new model," as overheard at the London Chop House (Detroit)
bar most afternoons. Nominator Joan Nevala, Austin, Tex.
And How Are We Today? -
Chirped by nurses in blinding white uniforms. Kay Psyk,
DeSoto, Wis., points out that "this phrase is not in
general used by younger members of the profession."
Out There - As in "There
are thousands of people out there." Roy Sutton,
Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., asks: "Out where?"
But You Shouldn't Feel That Way! -
Gerry WAlsh, Ormond Beach, Fla.: "This is such a
senseless statement. It solves nothing, especially for
its victim, who was vulnerable enough to open up his
innermost thoughts and feelings. How devastating to have
our entrusted emotions minimized as trivial!"
Language - Banished to
union contract negotiators for six months. G. Howard
Gillelan, Royal Oak, Md.: "often used when 'wording'
is meant." Acceptable, however, if the contract is
written partially in Latin or Polish.
nominations - In recent years,
Unicorn Banish Headquarters has received packets of
nominations from teachers who forward class assignment
banishment essays by students - elementary, high school,
All Songs - With
monetary references of less than $5. Such small change is
meaningless during present state of inflation. "Pennies
from Heaven," for example, is excluded, but "I
Found a Million Dollar Baby in a Five and Ten cents Store"
is allowed if cents is changed to "dollars"
which is also more realistic. Everett Hoffman, New York
Solidarity - One year
probation. Popularized by the Polish Workers, movement of
the same name, "solidarity" is good old
American Labor Movement, as in the song, "Solidarity
Forever," quite often sung at contemporary labor
rallies. Dan DeBono of Wayne State University and Mt.
Clemens, MI.: "It had been overused since the polish
crisis, and should be forbidden members of athletes'
Bummage - According to
Brenda Gorges of New London (Wisconsin) Senior High
School: "You can't even figure out what it means. It's
stupid. 'Bummer would be sufficient.'"
- sometimes creeps into
real life talk, as "first time ever," which in
recent years moved from sporting reports to page one to
He's Some Kind Of A (Quarterback)
. . . . Ford Wolfertz, Montclair, N.J.: "Everybody
is some kind of something to someone, even athletes,
though perhaps only to their mothers."
- These are
frequently employed to cover up actual meaning, or lack
of facts in press conferences, news releases, keynote
addresses, and talks.
Signals - Often "sent"
by foreign powers, or political opponents. E. Delores
Dickey, Thunder Bay, Ont.: "Do they use Boy scout
signal flags? Don't diplomats 'talk,' 'discuss' or
Highway User Fee
- Bruce Peasley, Handy High School instructor, Bay City,
Mich., say means "gasoline tax."
- University of Michigan assistant registrar Edward C.
Loyer found this in several departmental reports,
including: "Overall office effectivity improvement
will come only through increased automative support."
This means: "We need new equipment."