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Banished From The Queen’s English

Banished From
The Queen’s English

At the start of the year, Lake Superior State University issued its 33rd annual list of words or phrases banished from the Queen’s English for misuse, overuse and uselessness. Out of 2,000 nominations proposed by word-watchers across the country, 19 made the final list, which was selected by a university committee in December. The nominations included pet peeves from everyday speech, education, the news, technology, advertising, politics, sports and more. Here are some that made the cut. More can be found at

PERFECT STORM — “Overused by the pundits on evening TV shows to mean just about any coincidence.”

ORGANIC — Overused and misused to describe not only food, but computer products or human behavior, and often used when describing something as “natural.”

POST 9/11 — “‘Our post-9/11 world,’ is used now and probably used more than AD, BC or Y2K time references. You’d think the United States didn’t have jet fighters, nuclear bombs and secret agents, let alone electricity, ‘pre-9/11.’”

SURGE — “‘Surge’ has become a reference to a military build-up. Give me the old days, when it referenced storms and electrical power.”

BLACK FRIDAY — “The day after Thanksgiving that retailers use to keep themselves out of the ‘red’ for the year. (And then followed by “Cyber Monday.”) This is counter to the start of the Great Depression’s use of the term ‘Black Tuesday,’ which signaled the crash of the stock market that sent the economy into a tailspin.”

BACK IN THE DAY — “Back in the day, we used ‘back-in-the-day’ to mean something really historical. Now you hear ridiculous statements such as ‘Back in the day, people used blackberries without blue tooth.’”

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