Before I retire to my man cave to dig into a non-flexitarian platter of biscuits and gravy and see whether today's NFL match-ups will make my bucket list of sporting highlights, let's go over a few words headed for the recycling bin.
Each year since 1976, Michigan's Lake Superior State University has released a "Banished Words List," based on nominations sent in from picky, disgruntled English speakers from around the world.
At the top of the 2012 Banished Words List is "amazing," which has apparently become the new "awesome," another amazingly overworked word, which made the LSSU's 2007 list.
"The word which once aptly described the process of birth is now used to describe such trivial things as toast, or the color of a shirt," sniffed a Canadian who was one of hundreds nominating "amazing" for banishment.
Among other words making the "Banished" list was "blowback," a word commonly used by corporate types to mean "reaction," and "baby bump" the phrase that has made pregnancy a celebrity fashion accessory. Among those nominating "baby bump" for the scrap heap of words was a guy from Poca, who suggested reverting to "the old tried-and-true 'pregnant.' I never heard anyone complain about that description."
I would nominate "push-back," which has become an annoyingly over-used synonym for resistance, and "double-down," a perfectly good blackjack term that is being worn to a nub by political pundits trying to think of an alternative word for "escalate."
To prove that one person's passion is another's poison, the 2012 Banished Words List included one entry, "man cave," that also got 2012 seal of approval from the folks at Merriam-Webster.
After being "overused by television home design and home buying shows" and then making the rounds of sitcoms and commercials, 'man cave' now has to be endured during interactions with real estate people, neighbors and co-workers," sniffed one "Banished" nominator. "Not every man wants a recliner the size of a 1941 Packard with a cooler in each arm and a holster for the remote."
I don't know. That chair sounds pretty amazing to me.