What My Word is Not


“Every spoken word arouses our self-will.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Which words could fall off the pages of every publication ever written and I’d never miss them?

Are you already making a mental list?

The articles mentioned here got me thinking. Links are at the bottom of this post.

USA Today’s lengthy title “List of banned words for 2012 includes ‘man cave,’ ‘baby bump,’ ‘occupy'” incorporates words deemed overused and unlikable by Lake Superior State University.

The school released its 37th annual List of Words Banished, then used a couple of them to describe their accomplishment, “an amazing list that is bound to generate some blowback.”

Italicized are the words they would prefer to never read again. In fact, amazing took first place.

Here’s the list I came up with off the top of my head –

deal breaker
I heart you.
Got milk? (or any other noun)

I admit I’ve been tempted to include at least one of these in blog posts. Like “Got Recipes?” when I was blogging about baking during the Christmas holidays. And “Got Editor?” when writing assignments got scarce.

I caught myself just last week saying deal breaker in a conversation with our son. It sounded hip. I’m sure he thought so too.

My husband’s list includes the word random. This is good for a laugh since I asked what he thought about the photo I used for this post. He liked it.

How random is that?

It’s your turn. What’s your word peeve?

WRite wHere I’m supposed to beWords are packed with emotion. People are packed with emotion. Something to think about when we’re writing.

Lake Superior State University 2012 banished words list

USA Today’s banned word list


11 responses »

  1. How about “I less than three you?” 🙂 My words are moist, pedagogy, literally (when used in the wrong context ie: “I literally just ate 16 cows…literally.” No you literally didn’t eat 16 cows.)
    I am sure there are more.

    • I got a kick out of the cow example. A writers group is the place to hear how much other writers hate “literally” being used incorrectly … that can be a heated discussion. Not so crazy about pedagogy either. And yes, I’m sure I have more as well.

  2. From Facebook when I posted it on February 16 at 12:35pm

    Jenafor Braley likes this.

    Trisha White Priebe said preggers/preggo
    February 16 at 12:40pm · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson said Ha. I agree.
    February 16 at 12:52pm · Like

    Trisha White Priebe said Ha! It always makes me think about tomato sauce.
    February 16 at 12:53pm · Unlike · 1

    Michelle McPhail Sutton said I absolutely despise the phrase “It is what it is”!
    February 16 at 12:54pm · Unlike · 1

    Mark Billings said funny my wife horribly dislikes WHATEVER!!!! but hubby is her favorite term to call me weird!
    February 16 at 1:10pm · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson ‎said @Mark, now that’s funny. When I was writing the post, I wondered if I was using words that readers hate. This stuff can make writer self conscious. Lol.
    February 16 at 1:20pm · Like

    Kim Henson said Me too, Michelle McPhail Sutton, but that’s because my husband says it when we’re having a “discussion.” It’s his fault I hate it so much! Lol.
    February 16 at 1:21pm · Like

    Kim Henson said Oh my word, Trisha White Priebe, that’s so funny! Me too! You should be very worried if you think like me.
    February 16 at 1:26pm · Like

    Trisha White Priebe said Not worried. Complimented. 🙂
    February 16 at 1:27pm · Like

    Kim Henson said Glad to know there are others out there. Thanks, Trisha.
    February 16 at 1:36pm · Like

    Jacquie Rowan Gonzalez said I like “It is what it is.” There really isn’t a phrase on the planet that makes more sense to me other than “Live and Let live.”
    February 16 at 1:37pm · Unlike · 1

    Nancy Launi said I am sooooo tired of hearing “awesome”
    February 16 at 1:45pm · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson ‎said @Jacquie Rowan Gonzalez, you and John. : ) It’s best not to use “it is what it is” in arguments around our house. However, “live and let live” works – love that one. Guess I should “let live” and let him say what he wants. Lol!!!
    February 16 at 2:18pm · Like

    Kim Henson said @‎Nancy Launi, I shy away from that word because it’s so overused. Funny story: a friend had someone do a writeup about him and post it online. He panicked when he saw the word awesome because in his family, that word is reserved for God. : )
    February 16 at 2:23pm · Like

    Tatyanna Vander said I don’t like when people say, “I’m a Christian….” and follow that with a totally inappropriate Christian statement or thinking! I almost cringe, when on TV (for example) …”I’m a Christian”… for I fear whatever they say after that is inappropriate.
    February 16 at 3:04pm · Unlike · 1

    Jacquie Rowan Gonzalez said Hahaha…. I just like it, not really using it in an argument, but rather, to help myself not to stress out over the little things. When something unfortunate comes up unexpectedly, I kind of shrug, and say “it is what it is.” It’s kind of the same as “Let go and let God.” I’m full of these little soundbytes, aren’t I? Hahahaha
    February 16 at 3:05pm · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson said You are and I love it, Jacquie. Also love you called them “soundbytes.” Spoken like the true techie person you are.
    February 16 at 3:08pm · Like

    Kim Henson said Guess if I don’t get off here and onto work, you’ll be waiting a long time for blog posts. I’m off to write somewhere else.
    February 16 at 3:10pm · Like · 1

    Kim Henson said @‎Tatyanna Vander, good one. And a workman who has a cross or fish on their truck/in their logo but their word and work is far less than what you’d expect. Really disappointing to advertise that way and not follow through with good service.
    February 16 at 3:16pm · Like · 1

    Tatyanna Vander said ‎Kim Henson Yes, you’ve nailed (pardon the pun) another one. If you’re going to advertise you are a Christian…then walk the walk.
    February 16 at 4:40pm · Unlike · 1

    Lyn Snyder said My word is awesome because I think a lot of people say it just to be (cool) and really don’t know what it means.
    February 16 at 5:23pm · Unlike · 2

    Kim Henson said @Lyn, that’s awesome you showed up to comment. Lol. You know I love you!
    February 16 at 5:40pm · Like · 1

    Kim Henson Oh, I can just hear what you’re saying now. Covering my ears.
    February 16 at 5:41pm · Like · 1

    Sally J. Taylor said I am not a great speaker. I don’t pretend I can get up in front of people and open my mouth. That’s a true talent. So, here’s my word and a non word, “stuff” and “uh”. ” Uh, I said, uh don’t you like that stuff?” I had to recently sit through a man speaking and he said “uh” at least 50 times in 10 minutes. If he had said “stuff”………..
    February 16 at 6:12pm · Unlike · 2

    Lyn Snyder said I have had that happen to me to!
    February 16 at 6:14pm · Unlike · 2

    Kim Henson said I’ve had that happen also, Sally. I get so uncomfortable for the speaker, I feel like I’m going to jump out of my skin. Not sure why I take it on but a friend shared her secret. She said she makes a games out of it and counts how many times they say “uh.” It helps some. Still uncomfortable.
    February 16 at 9:28pm · Like

    Kim Henson said I agree, Tatyanna Vander. I like puns.
    February 16 at 9:52pm · Like · 1

  3. And more words and phrases readers do not like (from Facebook comments):

    ECO Virtual Services likes this.

    ECO Virtual Services said ‎”My bad” would have to be my #1…
    February 16 at 12:43am · Unlike · 1

    S. Kim Henson said I don’t like that one either. I figured I’d end up with a long list after readers named theirs.
    February 16 at 1:00am · Like · 1

    Maralana Fulton said ‎”Fine”
    February 16 at 12:45pm · Unlike · 1

    S. Kim Henson said Like in “He’s so fine.” Or “How are you?” “Fine.” Just curious.
    February 16 at 12:53pm · Like

    Maralana Fulton said Like “its fine” or “i’m fine” you just never know how to take it
    February 16 at 1:24pm · Unlike · 1

    S. Kim Henson said Got it, Maralana. You’re right. And I’m guessing it’s not fine at all.
    February 16 at 1:27pm · Like

    Jeneen Scirocco said Can I be honest with you
    February 16 at 10:54pm · Unlike · 1

    S. Kim Henson said Funny, Jeneen. Someone else’s was “to tell the truth.” Well, yes, I’d like that. : ) “Can I be honest with you?” sounds like bad news is coming. Lol.
    February 16 at 11:00pm · Like

    Jeneen Scirocco said I know and their face gets all serious
    February 16 at 11:01pm · Unlike · 1

    S. Kim Henson said It does. And they even say it in “the voice.” That’s what my husband and I call it … sounds like a bit of drama is about to happen. So funny.
    February 16 at 11:12pm · Like

    Anjana C. Duff said I know I’m late in joining this party, but I had to throw in that I hate when people use the word “ironic” when they should be using “coincidental” – those words are not synonymous and should not be used interchangeably…..it’s usually teenagers that do this. I also realize that this was not really what your post was about! I like both words – when they are used correctly. 🙂 I do have words that I dislike….I’ll be back with those later…I have real work to do first…see how you distract me?! 😉
    February 20 at 11:21am · Unlike · 1

    S. Kim Henson said You’re never too late to join this party! And I’m very glad you did because I do that – I mix up the two. I try not to say ironic because I’ve known I was probably using it incorrectly. When I do, I mean to come home and check its correct usage but always forget. Glad to know the word I’m supposed to be using. I need to look up both words and put the definitions with my grammar notes. Come back with those other words. I’m your distractive (not to be confused with attractive) friend. Lol.
    February 20 at 1:06pm · Like

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