Wednesday, November 14, 2012

VocabSlam’s Seven Banned Words of 2012

The “Top Words the Year” lists arrive at the end of the year like Christmas presents for linguaphiles. Oxford Dictionary released its list BEFORE Thanksgiving, but they invented English in England so we’ll let them slide. However, their top word of 2012 is “Gif”. Is this the year 1995, and you're dialing up CompuServe to surf the web with NetScape on your 486 CPU?  The rest of the list reads like it was assembled by 50-somethings who giggle while overhearing their teen kids’ conversations, or at best, Redditors (note: we are Redditors):
1. Eurogeddon 
2. Super PAC 
3. Superstorm 
4. Nomophobia 
5. Higgs boson

Lots of other silly neologisms have been blowing up our Vocab Radar 3000 this year. Since VocabSlam is all about NOT wasting your time on unnecessary words (precisely why we’ve narrowed down the list of most frequently occurring words to the top 300+ SAT words and 400+ GRE words), VocabSlam hereby BANS the following words from your lexicon:

You are banned from using this unless you work in a museum, specifically, as a curator. We’ve heard it used in the indie rock scene and by the startup and corporate communities who are desperate to latch on to a modicum of coolness. It’s a hackneyed
substitute for “assemble,” “pick” or “throw together at the last minute, but if we make it sound pretentious, maybe they won’t know.” For example, “Bradworth and I are going to curate some super awesome-sauce indie bands for our next party in our Williamsburg loft.” Boom, Slammed.

You are banned from using this word unless you work in the cosmos, specifically, as an astronaut. It’s been thrown around lately with great panache as another wanna-be fancy word for “area” or “field,” for example, “Tell me how it is working in the education space” or “She’s a real heavy hitter in the TV-VCR repair space.” If something is in a space, it assumes that something surrounds it. So, education is in a space between what and what? Tell me what those things are, and you can use the word space in a non-Aldrinian way. Boom, Slammed.

We had a long, versatile, and exuberant  run, awesome, but we’re going to have to put you out to pasture before you completely Jump the Shark. Boom, wistfully Slammed :(

You’re not Beowolf, ok? Boom, Slammed.

While we’ve traditionally associated this word with skiing, its alternative bossy use has been used almost exclusively in the hip hop world, a la “Hip Hop mogul P-Puff Daddy Sean John Combs” or “hip hop mogul Russell ‘Gramps’ Simmons.” Is there a way to merge the two usages? Can a hip hop mogul be a mogul mogul? Until then, boom, Slammed.

They really have invaded...our mainstream consciousness that is! Look, the pilot episode of Walking Dead was really, really good. It was cinematic and suspenseful. Everything thereafter? Let’s just say that the acting has been more frightening than the zombies. There’s no character development (yes we realize this is a zombie show) and it’s turned into a game of "who will die next" like a gory drawn-out game of Clue. We’re rooting for Carl to go next, amiright? Boom, Slammed.

The suffixes -geddon or -pocalypse
On a related End Timesey note, we are le tired of this constant wolf-cry.  You can’t call every 3-inch precipitation event “Stormageddon” and there really, really won’t be a zombie apocalypse, ever. People have always had a morbid desire to herald the end of the world. It probably won’t happen in our lifetimes. If it does, it’ll probably be via an asteroid from.... space. Until then, shut up and enjoy life. Boom, Slammed.

Consider yourself Slammed, banned words of 2012. Hope not to see you in 2013!