The Occasional Joke

Nurse: Patient's name?

Centurion: Marcus Licinius Crassus

Nurse: And his date of birth?

Centurion: 115 BC.

Nurse: All right. And what is he here for?

Centurion: Cataphract surgery.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Banned words

Lake Superior State University has published its annual list of "banned" words. It should be noted that the words are not really "banned," in any sense at all (for example in the sense that kids saying "naked chimichanga" in schools seems to be banned -- don't ask) except the opprobrium which appearing on the list brings to the utterer. Nevertheless, although using them won't get you an appearance on COPS, here they are, with my own take on the choice.
  • Amazing: LSSU essentially caved to overwhelming pressure from around the English-speaking world to include this word, which people perceived as amazingly overused. I tend not to watch/read/listen to the media that were blamed for overusing it, so I have no comment.
  • Baby bump: meaning the visible evidence of pregnancy. Vulgar, for sure, but again, not widely used in the flow of communication that reaches me, so I don't care one way or the other. I guess I would have banned other phrases beginning with "baby" first -- "baby momma," "baby daddy," etc. Even more vulgar, in my considered opinion.
  • Shared sacrifice: huh? Who says that?
  • Occupy: I agree completely. If I never hear it again, it'll be too soon.
  • Blowback: apparently meaning, according to LSSU, push back or resistance. Technically, it means a simple form of automatic weapon action, in which the direct pressure backwards of the propellent explosion on an unlocked breach forces the gun to cycle and chamber a new round. I would not expect the folks at LSSU to know this.
  • Man cave: Evidently, this is the new "den." I don't care if you don't.
  • The new normal: Whatever the speaker thinks is inevitable, as in "Being a moron is the new normal." Well, OK, as long as I can continue to define myself as not normal, I don't really care what some imbecile thinks is the new one. I think I'd have preferred to just ban "The new *" -- essentially, any trend-spotting banality that claims something other than X is the new X. "Type II body armor is the new black," for example. If "the new" is banned, I pledge to edit this post and remove the list item above.
  • Pet parent: I hadn't even heard that one. I prefer Linda's description of herself as a dogma, personally, although I guess it makes me a dogpop.
  • Win the future: meaningless rubbish. Right up there with "How's that ... working out for you?" Ban it, by all means, for all the good it'll do. They'll just think of something worse.
  • Trickeration: oh, come on. Never heard it, don't believe anyone actually says it. The claim is that it has something to do with football, which would explain why I'm not familiar with it, I guess.
  • Ginormous: meaning "big." This I have heard, and I'm fine with banning it as long as "huge" goes with it. I use that one far too much, myself, and I'd be glad to have someone dope-slap me every time I do.
  • Thank you in advance: for not whipping out an Uzi and shooting everyone in sight. For not molesting the rattlesnakes. For not voting Republican. Back in the Eighties, we were at a national park in Ireland, and they'd created or restored a traditional cottage, complete with thatched roof. Apparently, there'd been some vandalism (or just sheep nibbling at it,) since they had a very polite sign that read, "Kindly do not interfere with the thatch." I would support a global replace of the "Thanks in advance" phrase with something more along these lines, if I thought the average Joe Bagadonuts would have any idea what it meant.
Although I applaud LSSU's ongoing attempts to sweep out the linguistic stable floors from year to year, there are a few words or phrases I'd have nominated for banage ahead of the entries above. Here are mine.
  • Making a noun, describing a process or attribute, by adding "age" to a verb, like I just did above when I said "banage." Again, if it makes the banned list, I promise to quit doing it.
  • Poop: can we just stop? What changed to make this extremely vulgar word OK? It's not cute, it's not any more acceptable than some other euphemisms for feces or the act of defecation, and I'm really tired of hearing adults say it.
  • Newt Gingrich: another highly vulgar term, but if we banned it, a large amount of useful mockage would go to waste. So I withdraw the nomination, at least for now.
  • Tea Party: not the phrase, the group, a crew of feces-heads whose moronage is so amazing that if I were to win the future, I'd be tempted to demonstrate some blowback by confining them in a man cage.
Oh, enough for one night. Time to go think about making dinner.

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