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Warning for Wordsmiths


Carol Midgley in The Times of 3 January 2013 welcomes the arrival of the Lake Superior State University’s annual list of words to be banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness.

Amongst the scholars’ choices are: “fiscal cliff”; “bucket list” and “spoiler alert”. All fair enough, but then come Carol’s, which are a bit more entertaining.

She includes: politician-speak nonsense like “the right thing to do” ,”the squeezed middle”, “strivers” and, “big ask” – all assuredly vomit-inducing to any right-thinking scribbler.

She then goes on to line-up her sights on, “parent”, when used as a verb, “smokin’” of an admired figure and, too much this one really, “that’s how I roll”, God help us all.

“Too much information”, “viral”, “just saying”, “innocent face”, “epic”,” it is what it is” – remarkably enough a Blueprint Media hardy annual, “ for real” – see Jolly Boy John from Burnistoun, “MILF” , “tits-up” and surely the most deeply-embedded and cringe-making, not least since it’s been around for decades now, “going forward”, all get it smack on the nose.