The 40th annual List of Words to be Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse and Uselessness was released today. Yes, this list does in fact exist. Though, not by any official release from the monarchy as the reference to ‘Queen’ in its title may allude, but from the Lake Superior State University. The royal reference suggesting that those being the list’s composers, if a decree they could make, would indeed ban the selected words if they were in fact, kings or queens.
The tradition was created by the late W. T. Rabe, former public relations director at LSSU, who along with fellow LSSU faculty and folk, came up with the first list of colloquial words and phrases that people love to hate at a New Year’s Eve party in 1975 [sounds exactly like the party-fun one might find at a gathering of faculty members, doesn’t it?]. Immediately hence, they were inundated with so many unofficial ‘nominations’ from around the world, that the practice remains popular today.
Those that made the cut this year? A top nominee; Bae. A most annoying, term of endearment made popular by a Pharrell Williams single bearing the offending word in its title. I wonder how ‘happy’ he is about that. A runner up; cra-cra. Another abbreviation, in addition to ‘cray’, for such an unwieldy word, ‘crazy’. Another; -nation. An all too often used suffix to almost, well, anything referencing [aggrandizing] fans or viewers. FaceBook-nation, [Green Bay] Packer-nation, fast-food-nation…..you get the idea. Others that will none-too-soon go away; twerk, selfie, hashtag, twittersphere and suffixes -aggedon and -pocalypse.
If you are looking for something to resolve to do in 2015? For the love of the [even if it is only the ISSU faculty] queen, more importantly for the love of language, stop using one of the aforementioned [or all, if possible] offensive words. Don’t worry, there will be a whole new bouquet of pop-culture inspired slang to fill their void in 2015. There always is.