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Sunday, 3 January 2010


After going through thousands of nominations, words that need to be obliterated from human parlance have been identified. Their usefulness was measured and found to be wanting.

In a Reuters story, carried by Kenya's Sunday Nation, researchers at Lake Superior State University in the U.S. unveiled their 35th annual list of words that deserve to be banned, majority of which came from ICT jargon, marketing lingo and media journalese.

So words associating with social networking entities such as Twitter and Facebook, like 'unfriending,' or 'twitterature,' came up for some serious rejection by the Word Banishment committee..

Others were cliches derived from the Obama prefix like, 'Obamanomics,' or 'Obamamania.'  Another category that elicited strong dislike had to do with marrying of two words to form a new one carrying both meanings.

Examples cited here include, 'chillaxin, bromance, sexting,' and even, 'blogorrhea.'

Words that escaped the guillotine

Economic buzz words that gained currency in the wake of the global recession like, 'stimulus' or 'toxic assets.' went into use overdrive, which made them prime candidates for being banned.

This eminent team of phrasemongers and wordsmiths however needed to have included a special category of 'NGO-speak,' in their list of unwanted words.

Like members of one well-rehearsed choir, majority of professionals in the NGO sector have been known to spit out grand sounding general terms that lack specific contextual meanings.

In this category will be found words like, sanitize, critical mass, girl-child, value addition, marginalized or empowerment.

Media practitioners also come up for special mention. For many reporters, the mood during sad occasions is always sombre, lawyers in the news are always top-notch, new devices are always state-of-the-art or top of the range, and government delegations are more often than not, high-powered.

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