Purity of language seems to have 'gone missing'
Jan. 1, 2007
DETROIT - If the media's habit of combining celebrity names didn't cause word
watchers enough heartburn in 2006, the past year had plenty of other words and
phrases that language purists wish had "gone missing."
Lake Superior State University on Sunday released its annual "List of Words and
Phrases Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General
The Sault Ste. Marie school has been compiling the list since 1976 to attract
publicity. A total of 16 words or phrases was selected from more than 4,500
The list reads like a lexicon of popular culture.
Take "ask your doctor," the mantra of pharmaceutical commercials. The university
called it "the chewable vitamin morphine of marketing."
Critics piled on the media's practice of combined celebrity names such as "TomKat"
or "Brangelina." One said, "It's so annoying, idiotic and so lame and pathetic
that it's "lamethetic.' "
Real estate listings were targeted for overuse of "boast." As in "master bedroom
boasts his-and-her fireplaces - never bathroom apologizes for cracked linoleum,'
" Morris Conklin of Portugal quipped.
It wasn't hard to find the phrase "gone/went missing" in 2006.
"It makes missing sound like a place you can visit, such as the Poconos. Is the
person missing or not?" Robin Dennis of Texas asked.