Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Banished Words

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy

As readers and writers, I think we are more aware of words than most people. How many times have you been reading along and suddenly a word stops you cold because it doesn't seem to fit in the story? Or maybe the word is used incorrectly? Or, the same word has been repeated three or four times?

Yup, happens to me, too. And as a writer, I have to be careful of not doing any of those things in my own stories. This is where my critique partners and beta readers prove their value by spotting 'pet' words or phrases that I've overused. Two words I have a tendency to repeat are "that" and "just." One of my critique partners' pet word is "it." She once wrote a sentence with "it" used five times! YIKES! This is why we writers rely on revision.

Another thing that drives me to distraction is when I hear the same words and phrases repeated over and over by everyone around me. One such phrase that drove me bonkers back in the late 1990s was "don't go there." I swear I heard it at work a dozen times a day... every day! More recently, both the DH and I have developed a severe aversion to "at the end of the day."

Looks like Aunty is not the only one who would love to dump overused words. Recently, I ran across of list of "Banished Words" put together by the Lake Superior State University in Sault Saint Marie, Michigan. Back in 1975, the LSSU Public Relations Director and a few friends created "word banishment" and put together a list which they released on New Year's Day 1976. LSSU has released a new list of "Banished Words" every year since then. (If you want to see all the lists, go here http://www.lssu.edu/banished/.)

So here are a few of the words that made the banishment list for 2011:

VIRAL -- used to describe anything that has attracted a great deal of attention. Since when is a term for disease seen as popular or even positive?

EPIC -- used to describe common events. This is flat out incorrect. One commenter on the LSSU website said it perfectly, "... when the history books are written or updated and stories have been passed through the generations, the epic powder on the slopes during your last ski trip or your participation in last night's epic flash mob will probably not be included."

FAIL -- used as a noun or adjective meaning something less than perfect. The correct word is FAILURE. Fail is a verb.

FACEBOOK/GOOGLE -- used as verbs. Okay, I'll admit I'm guilty of sometimes saying, "Google it." But I haven't slipped so far as to say, "Facebook it, Danno!"

In case you were wondering (as I was) here are some of the Banished Words of 35 years ago in 1976:
MEANINGFUL
INPUT

SCENARIO
DETENTE

Any of those being back memories?

Do you have any "pet" words that you use too often? What about words and phrases that are so overused they make you want to scream? Which words and phrases would you like to banish?

87 comments:

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, chookie!!!!!

Danielle Gorman said...

I hate when people say baby to eachother all of the time. Ugh! Makes want to throw up.

Anna Campbell said...

Well, it's been a while since he's visited me. Very hot down here today - perhaps he'd like a swim!

AC, I loved your post. I must say a lot of words and phrases absolutely get up my nose. Often they seem to be pompous longwinded ways of saying something that's really easy. A prime example of this is "At this point in time". Um, how about 'now'? I remember a prime minister of ours went mad on saying 'incentivate'. Huh? Is that even a word???!!! If it is, it sure shouldn't be!!! I thought talk to the hand was amusing until I heard it about five million times at which stage anyone who said it could TALK TO THE HAND!!!!

Hmm, I don't have any suggestions for this post at all, do I? Snork!

Anna Campbell said...

Gosh, Danielle, we were neck and neck in the chook race! I agree with you about 'baby'. I'm not crazy about 'babe' either although I like some of the other endearments like 'hon'. Babe and baby always sound really patronizing to me.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

WOWZA! Fo and Danielle, you were in a dead heat to grab the GR!

Looks like Fo won him by a tailfeather. ;-) Can't blame him for wanting to stay in the warmer weather, though I rather doubt he'd be up for a swim... Chicken + warm water = SOUP!

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Danielle,
I agree about "baby" as a term of endearment. "Honey" is not quite as bad, but I always remember that line from Cheers where Diane complains that some customer called her honey and Carla says, "But that's bee barf, right?"

EWWW!

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I agree, Fo,
We need to banish "at this point in time" right along with "at the end of the day." Both should be replaced by the good old "now." :-P

And WHAT THE HECK is "incentivate"?!?

Here's hoping all 3 of these go the way of "talk to the hand." Honestly, when was the last time you heard anyone say talk to the hand? Thank goodness it died a quiet and inglorious death, right along with "don't go there."

AC

zebrareader said...

What about "awesome" ? I keep thinking this word will wear out but it doesn't.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Thanx for stopping by, Zebrareader!

As a Nascar fan, I quickly grew tired of hearing a certain driver gushing "AWESOME!" after every other word. :-P

The newest variation of this annoying word that I've seen lately on Facebook is "awesomesauce." Okay, that's probably still better than "incentivate" but not much.

AC

Pissenlit said...

Several years ago, one of my friends overused "That's unfortunate." which I then picked up and overused, myself(not on purpose, though). It took me awhile but I noticed and consciously quashed it. It still pops up now and again.

Off the top of my head, some overused words and phrases that drive me nuts...
- "Win!" as the opposite of the aforementioned "Fail"
- "That's what she said!" following what someone else has said, usually added by a guy who thinks he's being funny
- "Here for the right reasons." heard over and over and over again on The Bachelor/Bachelorette.
- "Wow factor" ARGH!! It drives me nuts while watching Say Yes to the Dress.

Pissenlit said...

AC - UGH! Awesomesauce has been around for awhile but I totally agree that it's annoying!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

LOL Pissenlit!

"Wow factor" was on the LSSU list this year!

And "here for the right reason?" Why would anyone be somewhere for the WRONG reason?!?!

AC

Kim in Hawaii said...

Obviously I use Aloha and Mahalo more than others. Perhaps some tire of reading it in my blog and comments. But both words mean more than "hello" and "thank you" -they embody a spirit that is unique to the islands.

Anna may have the GR for the day .. but its time for Hawaii Five O so I have Alex O'Laughlin for an hour. Sigh ....

PinkPeony said...

Hi AC!

Fast hands, Anna!

I agree with Danielle...baby or babe makes me insane. Honey doesn't bother me though. Zebrareader nailed the word that bothers me the most...awesome. It's fine if you're under eighteen and your only mode of transportation is a skateboard. To hear a forty-something woman say that is as bad as a mother who dresses like her sixteen-year-old daughter.

When I worked in the corporate world, the sales team loved words like actionable, revisit, slam dunk, and bullet point.

Everything's copasetic. Hee.

Kaetrin said...

I hear what you're saying, but it's all about results. We need to stop thinking about the problem and start looking for a solution. Obviously, we need to have a dialogue and make sure we are looking at the big picture. At the end of the day we all have to work together.

...

BINGO!

:)

Anna Campbell said...

Kim, I gotta say I really like aloha and mahalo from you - it's kinda YOU, yanno? (You know used to drive my dad up the wall!) Kaetrin, you're just cruel!!!! I'd say wicked but that's another one on the awesome list! ;-)

Jen, what does copasetic mean? Is it from a Barry Manilow song?

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

ALOHA, Kim!

Some words can be endlessly repeated and NOT be annoying.

Enjoy Alex... er, um, Hawaii Five-Oh. ;-)

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

ACK!

You just gave me an ugly flashback with those corporate buzz words, Pink! Let's see... how 'bout "deliverables" "seamless" and "stakeholders"?!?! ARGH!!

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Kaetrin,

I'm LITERALLY ROFLOL! Too, TOO funny!

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Fo said: "Jen, what does copasetic mean? Is it from a Barry Manilow song?"

SNORK!

As for "awesome" I know Fo and Jen will identify with this: it's the "groovy" of its generation!

AC
who was a child of the 60s

PinkPeony said...

Anna...copasetic means everything's cool. It was one of those words I remember hippies and wannabe flower children used when I was in grade school. Like AC says, it was groovy, man.

AC..I forgot about seamless. Ack! Seamless door-to-door service to suit your just-in-time inventory needs.

Ad nauseum...the phrase...looking forward to a mutually beneficial relationship...aka we hope to put the screws to you before you do it to us. :)

Laurie Faelan said...

I overuse "ly" words. I love them and my critique partners' have wrestle as many as they can away from me. I know, it's lazy writing.

When I'm reading, it bothers me when the author uses the characters' names repeatedly. That takes me right out of a story.

A word I'd like to see removed from the English language is "retarded". It's not used so much anymore but I hated when kids used it to call people stupid.

Interesting about the "Banished Words" lists. I'll be sure to check them out.

Helen said...

Well done Anna make him work

Aunty Cindy

So many words that young people come up with these days rub me the wrong way like when they say that is sick and they mean it is great OHHH. Also when they shorten words and name of towns when I was growing up I lived at Bankstown and everyone would say Banky and then there is a suburb named Liverpool and they shorten it to Livo please LOL.

So many words

Have Fun
Helen

Carol L. said...

I couldn't stand when the phrase "shut up" was being used. If someone won something their response was "shut up" or if someone got engaged and told their friends it was "shut up". I couldn't stand it. It should be banished forever. lol
Carol L
Lucky4750@aol.com

Andrea said...

Good morning, AC!

My sister and I use "Seriously?" all the time...on purpose. It's like our personal phrase to each other. LOL

Kathy Bennett said...

This is a fun blog post.

I'm with the folks who can't stand awesome. Another one that drives me up the wall is 'amazing'. Everything and everybody in today's world is 'amazing'.

Two phrases that are like fingernails on a chalkboard to me are:

'Old school' and 'Back in the day'. Of course I fear those aren't common anywhere else but here in LaLa Land (Los Angeles).

Sue Swift said...

I complain about overused words and phrases in an internet radio interview I did recently for Total-E-Bound--I'm an editor there. I singled out body parts I can't mention on a G-rated site standing "at attention." I've seen that quite enough, thanks.

Slush said...

"This is the scenerio" lol!
I love the word, and just for the record I am only guilty of using one of the 4 (2011) words you posted, 'viral'. Other then that I stay far away from Google or Facebook as verbs and epic.

My favorite writing word is "slightly". It shows up sometimes everywhere.
Professionally the phrase "In addition" starts a lot of my sentences as well.

The word annoying me now is 'Bet'. I hear people saying it as an exclamation after any sentence as a confirmation of existence or something.
Thanks for the post.

Joan said...

Aunty, this is an AWESOME, INCENTIVATING post! SERIOUSLY, SICK.

:D

I can't think of any one word I use too much but phrases that drive me batty are "Oh, no you didn't" and #1 "My bad". Aghhhh I HATE that expression!!! Hate it! Despise it! Abhor it!


Ok, I'm over my litte fit...SERIOUSLY.

MsHellion said...

My pet words include but are by no means limited to:

Honestly
Clearly
Obviously
Epic
Sweet
Awesome (I can't tell you how many times a day I abuse this poor word)

jo robertson said...

Great topic, Aunty Cindy! I love discussions about words.

Back across the ocean to Aussie-Land, Anna! WTG to be so quick on the draw.

LOL at your comment, Danielle. I noticed in JD Robb's In Death series, Roark calls Eve "baby" in situations of extreme stress, but in his beautiful Irish voice, it sounds lovely, not all sickening sweet.

jo robertson said...

Ooops, I saw Danielle's comment and totally forgot the question.

Oh, yes, Aunty Cindy, could that CP who uses "it" TOO MUCH me moi??!! I know how you dislike it. It seems to me that you have a bias toward the word. It must bother you greatly to hear it repeated so frequently in your CP's writing. It's most annoying, isn't it?

ROTFLOL at my own silly comment. Hey, where's my morning Pepsi!!??

jo robertson said...

Seriously, however, I'm with Danielle. I ABHOR the silly names lovers call each other. Don't mind "honey" as that's what I use, but appellations like "sugar-cakes" and "babe" -- hate that one when a man calls a woman that, sounds like a giant pig -- oh, wait, it was a pig in the movie!

Oh, another dispicable one to me is "the little woman" or "the old lady" or "old man"; those likely have gone out of fashion among the younger generation.

jo robertson said...

LOL at "incentivate," Anna C. That's definitely not a word. However, I don't mind made-up words if they fit the situation and the speaker isn't trying to be high-falluting.

What I dislike among kids is their use of "like" and "really," especially as filler words, the equal of saying "uh" and "um."

jo robertson said...

Oh, Cindy, why'd you say that about "honey"? Bee barf, indeed. Now I can't use the word. Hmm, how about "sweetheart" or "sweetie"? I've used those too.

I've never liked "darling" much except it seems to work awfully well in western novels.

jo robertson said...

Zebrareader said, "What about 'awesome'? I keep thinking this word will wear out but it doesn't."

Do you think it's because teens have a limited vocabulary and can't think of anything else to describe something so wonderful that it's . . . uh, awesome?

jo robertson said...

Pissenlit said, "'Here for the right reasons.'" heard over and over and over again on The Bachelor/Bachelorette."

Hilarious. Like why would you be there for the "wrong reasons"?

jo robertson said...

Kim in Hawaii, no! We love your use of "aloha" and "mahalo." Those greetings are unique to you. They're not in general use across the world. And, really, can "thank you" and "hello" EVER go out of fashion?

Janga said...

I've become so conscious of overusing "that" and "just" that they are no longer the problems they once were. However, I still have to rewrite untold numbers of sentences where characters are smiling or grinning.

Joan, I'm glad to hear that someone else hates "my bad" as much as I do. "Meh" is another one that I loathe. I do think social media encourage overused shorthand. I hate "LOL" too, but I find myself using it far too often because it's quicker and shorter that a fuller, more thoughtful response would be.

jo robertson said...

Clearly, I'm using Aunty Cindy's post as an excuse to keep from writing or exercising!

But it's so fun.

LOL on "stand at attention," Sue! That ones' always irritated me and I never found it fresh.

Nancy said...

Anna, you have the chook! Keep him hopping.

Cindy, I had to laugh over this post. I adopt a pet phrase per book, it seems. The dh once told me, "All your characters need a gastroenterologist." Too many gut reactions in that ms.

A beta reader recently said, "Your hero is a serious butt man. You might wanna give him a wider range of interests."

It seems I recently adopted a name, not just a phrase. My agent emailed me and said, "You have three Sarahs in this book. Did you realize that? Can we change two of them?" To which the answers were, "No, I didn't" and "yes, of course." sigh.

They were minor characters, widely spaced in the ms., and I had my mind on the h/h dynamic. I just didn't catch it, nor did the beta readers, which is some comfort.

The word that makes me just freaking ballistic is "proactive."

Be active. Be assertive. Take action. Advocate. Propose. But sticking "pro-" on the front end of "active" just makes it longer without adding anything important.

Shall we all be "proassertive" now? Or shall we "proadvocate?" Just in case no one realizes these words without the "pro" imply the taking of a position? After all you can assert or advocate AGAINST something as well as FOR it.

Can I just say GAK?!

Okay, I'm going to stop ranting now and hope I haven't offended anyone. I'm still recovering from the shift of the word "read" from the verb category to the noun category, as in "a good read."

Nancy said...

Danielle, I'm not a big fan of "baby," either. It just doesn't seem to fit an adult. As Jo notes, Roarke uses it to Eve--not all the time, thank goodness! I'd rather he didn't, but I love the books so much that I can overlook it.

Nancy said...

Cindy, "honey" is huge in the South. I mean, huge. It's an all-purpose endearment. When I was little, every grownup in my family called me "honey" some of the time. Same went, though not quite as often, for my male cousins.

The dh and I call each other that. We called the boy that when he was little--but stopped, at his request, a few years back. At least when his buds are around.

HOWEVER, I find it obnoxious and offensive when delivered by strangers and doubly so when delivered by strangers obviously younger than I am. They may call me "ma'am," and if they're looking for money or business out of me, they'd jolly well better.

Context is all for that word, imho.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

You've mentioned the two words I have to cull in my writing all the time -- "that" and "just". I don't even realize how much I use them until I start editing.

Cybercliper said...

One phrase I see in a lot of books I read is: "riding him hard" and it drives me crazy. I usually just roll my eyes and move on.

I saw it used so often in one book that one weekend I re-read it so Hubs and I could turn it into a drinking game.

As for words the word "really" sends chills down my back. I worked with a 32 year old lady whose response to anything was "reeealy" spoken in a little girl voice -

you look nice today-reeealy
papercutter took your finger off-reeealy
let's get some lunch-reeealy

Talking to her - nothing worked. Then I went Pavlov on her and everytime the word came out she was sent into the dungeons to do archiving. Took about a month but pretty soon 'reeealy' was never heard at work.

Deb said...

Well,....my husband sometimes calls me "baby" and and I sometimes call him "babe". My own mother sometimes calls me "babe". So, see, that word doesn't bother me if not used overly much.

Don't have much time today, but will try to pop back in.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Morning everyone,

Looks like we are having an awesome, I mean GROOVY, I mean COPASETIC time in the Lair today! (Passes out maracas for a Barry Manilow sing along.)

Jen said: "...looking forward to a mutually beneficial relationship..." HA! The one I loved was closing a letter by saying "Respectfully" when you were anything but! Hmmm, I still use that one on occasion.

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Laurie,
I'm a long time adverb abuser too, as my CPs will be quick to tell you. ;-)

And my nieces were terrible about calling each other 'retarded.' That really bothered me too. My sibs and I stuck to plain old stupid, usually preceded by shut up.

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Helen,
I've heard a lot of kids shortening words around here too, and I find it very annoying. LIVO?!?! ICK! And I do NOT live in Sac, I live in Sacramento. How difficult is it to say one or two extra syllables?!?!

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Oh Carol,
I HATED all that "shut up" used as a positive exclamation too. When we were kids and yelled shut up, we meant be quiet. My mother constantly got on us for using shut up, which she considered the height of rudness, so she probably rolled over in her grave when it became a fad.

Equally annoying as "oh no you didn't!"

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Seriously, Andrea?

Are you and your sis big fans of Grey's Anatomy. Every episode I watched of that show for awhile contained a liberal sprinkling of "seriously." I found myself muttering, "No, frivolously!" ;-)

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Thanks for dropping by the Lair today, Kathy!

I'm afraid "back in the day" isn't limited to Southern California. I've heard it up here in the north waaay too many times, too. :-P

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

ROFL, Sue!
Thanks for keeping our blog G, or at least PG rated. But the image in my head of 'standing at attention' is very definitely not family friendly and involves little uniforms...

Congrats on your new job!

AC

Nancy said...

Kim, aloha and mahalo don't bother me at all.

Alex O'Loughlin is seriously cute. Gotta rate him above Jack Lord, the previous Steve McGarrett, in both looks and action capabilities.

Unfortunately, Five-0 is on opposite Castle, and we don't Tivo. I lean a little more toward Castle but try to catch Five-0 in re-runs.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

LOL Joanie!

I SERIOUSLY agree about "my bad!" This will never be an acceptable excuse, much less an apology in my opinion! ARGH!!!

And "oh no you didn't" is equally obnoxious. Um, I just SAID I did, so are you calling me a liar??? Can't tell you how many times I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying that. :-P

AC
the cranky old lady

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Slush,
I haven't heard Bet! used around here yet. Makes me think the speaker needs to go to Gamblers Anonymous. :-P I'm all for brevity, but not at the cost of meaning.

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Nice list, Hellie!

I confess that I probably overuse "honestly" and "obviously" in my conversations. I think I'm a little more cognizant of using them less in my writing. At least I THINK I am... Only my CPs know for sure. ;-)

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

LOL, Jo-Mama!

ANYTHING said in a sexy Irish accent sounds good to me. Yes, even swear words!

And I actually did NOT mean you, though you do like "it" quite a lot. ;-) But Aimee was my CP who used "it" 5 times in one sentence. To be fair, it was a first draft and she specifically asked me to help her reword the sentence.

AC

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Really???

Well, yeah, really, it just happened didn't it?

I overuse so many words I get on my own nerves.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Janga,

I'm happy to know I'm not the only writer who abuses "just" and "that." I've already had my little rant about "my bad" so I'll spare you any more grumblings for the moment. OH, and I'll refrain from abreviations like LOL for at least the next few comments. ;-)

AC

Kat said...

“There’s an App for that” or whether something is “sustainable”.

Susan Sey said...

Cindy, this is a great--and timely--post as I'm up to my elbows judging Golden Heart entries. And while some of them are fantastic & I'm really excited to see if they final, a few of them are disastrously spelled & randomly punctuated.

I have sympathy, of course, because I have pet phrases, too. My first drafts are full of "just," "little," and a LOT of em dashes. Like, a LOT. Tons. Ridiculously riddled.

The one thing I really despise, though, that puts me in an absolute frenzy when I hear it used? Orientate. Argh! OriENT, people. We ORIENT ourselves in space and time. OrienTATE is NOT A WORD.

Okay, and I'm shouting. Sorry. :-) Good topic, clearly.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Nancy,
I'm giggling into my mimosa about your characters needing a gastroenterologist and your hero being a "butt" man! I've been guilty of quite a few 'gut reactions' and 'gut twisting' anxiety in my characters too. And you are in good company with giving minor characters the same names. I've heard La Nora does that too. I mostly only read her "In Death" series so I haven't noticed, but others have made that observations in her other work.

Oh and let me shout UGH! with you on proactive or pro-anything! UGH! UGH!! UGH!!!

AC
who is pro-cabana boys ;-)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Nancy,
You raise an excellent point about certain words being used predominantly in the South. I think honey is used so much in California because we have a lot of transplanted Southerners. Another endearment I feel is very Southern is "sugar." My former office mate who was from Texas called me and others she liked, "sugar." My relatives from Texas used to say, "Give me some sugar" meaning they wanted a kiss. I have never heard anyone else in California use sugar in that context (nor do I particularly want to).

And I HATE being called "Ma'am" even though I know it is polite. "Ma'am" makes me feel OLD! :-P

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Trish,
Welcome to the "just" and "that" abusers club! I feel like we are in very good company. ;-)

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

All right, Cybercliper!

I'm thinking you may have invented a new game for us here in the Lair! REALLY!

OOPS! Please don't send me to the Achiving Dungeon! PLEASE!

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Thanks for popping in, Deb!

I'll admit that I sometimes call my son "babe" but usually I call him "sweetie" which he doesn't like either. Yes, I do it to annoy him. What are parents for if not to annoy their offspring?

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Don't worry, Dianna,
You do NOT get on our nerves. Trust me, if you got on the dragon's nerves, you'd know it! REALLY!

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Oh Kat,
You picked a pair of winners. Since everything organic eventually dies, then nothing is "sustainable" is it? :-P

AC
who has no app for anything and plans to keep it that way!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I'll shout with you, Smoov,

ORIENTATE IS NOT A WORD!!!
But can we make a Barry Manilowish parody of it? (Aunty shakes her maracas.)
"Oh we must ORIENTATE,
"Seriously ORIENTATE,
"Before we ride him hard.
"BET! Oh yes, we did!
"We really REALLY did!"

AC
slinking off to the Archiving Dungeon now

catslady said...

I cannot stand anyone saying "shut up". It's used a couple of ways and I don't like either one!! "Whatever" is another one. It's always used sarcastically.

Nancy said...

Cindy, you have a mimosa? I want one.

Sven!

Well, aren't you the Swede on the spot? Thanks.

Where was I?

Oh--I've noticed that Nora sometimes re-uses names, though I haven't seen any duplicates in the same book. After 170 books, though, I figure she's entitled.

"Sugar" was not big in my family as anything other than a pantry staple. I don't remember hearing it when I was growing up. "Give me some sugar" doesn't ring the familiarity bell at all, though I know it's something people say.

I've heard other women say they hate "ma'am," but to me, "honey" is just not acceptable while "miss" comes across as obvious kissing up. I mean, I don't dye my hair, which is going gray (and curling, at long last, for which I'm grateful). I'm wearing a wedding ring. Do I look like a "miss?"

Nancy said...

Susan--"Randomly punctuated," you say? Reminds me of some of my students' papers. I haven't started my GH entries. I'm hoping they're good.

I once had one, though, in which the author consistently paired Character A's dialogue with Character B's action tag. Eventually, I found a rhythm (I was tempted to say I got myself "orientated," but I feared you might smite me) after a while, but it was very confusing at first.

Pissenlit said...

Oh oh, I just thought of a couple more that bug me. The overuse of the word "hot" to describe people and trends and the use of "friend" as a verb. *twitch*

Nancy said...

Cindy, I LOVE your parody!

Louisa Cornell said...

Oooh, the GR is taking all the trips I want to take! I know he'll have a lovely time in Oz with you, La Campbell !!


Aunty, what a great post! I will definitely check out the lists from previous years.

I abhor listening to teenagers and twenty year olds carry on conversations that consist of

"It's like, you know, totally awesome and like, you know, we could, you know like go there and throw down and then like, you know hook up with, you know like, etc. etc. etc."

My tax money pays for these kids to learn THIS ?

Other pet peeve words -

Bogus

Dude (I am NOT a dude, no matter how ugly my Walmart uniform is it does show the shape of portions of my anatomy that are a clear indication that I am NOT a dude, DUDE!)

I think one of the reasons I love to read Regency historicals is the intelligent, lyrical cadence of the language of the time period.

And frankly, I have to say, the language in the romance novels I read, whether they be historical, paranormal, contemporary or fantasy, far surpasses what I hear spoken in my every day life. Is it any wonder I spend every break and lunch at work READING ???

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Okay, I'm back from the dungeon, and while I was skulking around down in the bowels of the Lair, I stumbled across something very interesting. The guys have a secret meeting room, and from the look of it, they are planning some sort of big event for Valentine's Day (lots of red hearts and streamers lying about)!

Stay tuned for more info.

Nancy, I'm sure I mentioned this but I'll repeat it again. When my hair was black it was straight, but when it turned gray, it also went curly! I was thrilled, definitely the best thing about going gray. ;-)

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Oh Catslady,
You've hit on another one! If I had a nickel for everytime I heard "Whatever!" we could line every room in the Lair in gold leaf. :-P

I'd almost rather hear "Awesome!" Almost...

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Have another mimosa, Nancy!

I've judged a few contest entries that made me wish for a pitcher of margaritas. Made me wonder if the writer had ever even read a book before they tried to write one!

Here's hoping you, Smoov, Joanie, VA, and all the other Banditas who are judging the Golden Heart this year get some outstanding entries!

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Oh dear, Pissenlit,
I'm afraid I'm guilty of using both "hot" and "friend" as a verb (but ONLY in reference to Facebook). Sorry I made you twitch. :-P

Glad you liked the parody, Nancy.

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Great to see you, Louisa!
UGH! I'd vote to banish both "bogus" and "dude" also. If anyone has the audacity to call me dude, I give them my most withering look and say, "Dudette." :-P

I listened to a conversation among 3 twenty-somethings at lunch yesterday and one of the young men said, "Know what I'm sayin'?" at least 6 times in the course of 5 minutes! How could his listeners know something HE obviously did not?

AC
P.S. Mayhap you could weigh in on the "sugar" issue? Is it used as an endearment in Alabama?

Louisa Cornell said...

"Sugar" is not used as an endearment in Alabama to my knowledge. You are far more likely to hear "honey" or "darlin'" or "sweetie" or even "Sweetpea"

One thing you will definitely hear is "Ma'am" and it is a term of respect for any lady older than the speaker. Another Alabama Southernism is the use of Miss to address any lady older than the speaker or any lady in a position of authority. For instance, a lady who manages a bakery at the local Walmart with the first name 'Pam' would be called 'Miss Pam' by her subordinates and generally by any Walmart associate in a position below department manager. The store manager's name is Ms. Wilson, but she is called Miss Angie by those of us who work for her. Again, it is a term of respect.

And frankly, being addressed as "Darlin'" by a long, tall drink of water with a deep Southern voice, and big blue eyes wearing cowboy boots, jeans that look like he grew up in them and a skin-tight black t-shirt is guaranteed to make ANY woman's day. :)

elainec said...

They do bring back memories. When Bill Rabe retired from the University of Detroit (where I was a student) and headed for the UP, many of us followed his "Banished Words". I'm sure others are publishing the current crop of "Banished Words". It's always interesting to see which ones they choose.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Louisa said: "And frankly, being addressed as "Darlin'" by a long, tall drink of water with a deep Southern voice, and big blue eyes wearing cowboy boots, jeans that look like he grew up in them and a skin-tight black t-shirt is guaranteed to make ANY woman's day. :)"

It would certainly make MINE! ;-)

Thanks Miss Pam, for the input on the term "sugar." Maybe it is a peculiarity to Texas... Except my maternal grandfather said it too, and he was from Kentucky. 'Tis a mystery!

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Elaine!
Small world! Yes, Bill Rabe is the gentleman who started the list of Banished Words at LSSU.

Thanks to everyone who commented today and shared their selections for words and phrases that need to be banished. I had a GROOVY time. Really awesome. ;-)

AC

Cassondra said...

Hmmmmm...

That's the one I've been misusing lately. I put "hmmmmmm" everywhere when I'm writing.

I also overuse "just". "Just" gets sprinkled through my manuscripts like pepper on pasta. I have to do a search and destroy on it every time.

One of the things that bugs the bejeebers out of me is when people say, "It was just Anna, Cindy and Myself."

Uh...ME! It was ME!!!!!

Cassondra said...

aka Dianna said:

I overuse so many words I get on my own nerves.

I DO TOO!

I'm so glad I'm not the only one.

So y'all will JUST have to look over me. :0(