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An annual tradition from Lake Superior State University identifies the most overused words of 2011

'Baby bump', 'Man cave' make banned words list

Don't let these words occupy your vocabulary in 2012

Lake Superior State University: Banished Words List

Word Warriors' 2012 Top 10

A Dictionary of the English Language by Samuel Johnson

1828 Edition of Noah Webster's Dictionary

Words and phrases come and go, and sometimes they are inspired by certain fads or geographical regions. In New England, to say something is "wicked" is not to imply a certain evil quality, but that something is in fact most excellent. Of course, certain words or phrases become overused, and a linguistic and cultural backlash can ensue over time. The folks at Lake Superior State University have published their annual list of overused words since 1976, and this year's list contains some rather (overly) familiar phrases. The formal name of the list is the "List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Usefulness" and it was released last Friday. The items on this year's list included "baby bump," "occupy," "man cave" and "the new normal." One curious addition to this year's list was "amazing." Some of those nominating this word noted that it seems to be frequently overused on reality TV programs and by certain news commentators. One person who nominated "amazing" remarked that "People use 'amazing for anything that is nice or heartwarming. In other words, for things that are not amazing."

The first link will take users to an article from USA Today about the annual banned words list. The second link leads to a piece from Sunday's Globe and Mail which talks about the origins of the list. Moving along, the third link will lead interested parties to the complete 2011 list from Lake Superior State University, along with commentary from nominators. The fourth link leads to a list of words compiled by Wayne State University that deserve greater use, not less. The list includes words such as supercilious, truckle, and frisson. The fifth link leads visitors to a digital version of Samuel Johnson's celebrated 1755 English dictionary. Finally, the last link leads to the homepage of the 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language created by that noted lexicographer Noah Webster.
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