Word of the Year Redux

Here is a round-up of the Word of the Year hoopla – good and bad, happy and sad – a final say of the words that you either like or that cause you to scratch your head and say, “huh?”

We begin with the eagerly awaited announcement from the American Dialect Society. Its choice for 2011 Word of the Year? Occupy. Are you surprised? Ben Zimmer, chair of the New Words Committee, explained, “It’s a very old word, but over the course of just a few months it took on another life … The movement itself was powered by the word.”

On to the worst. From Lake Superior State University’s annual List of Banished Words, these were misused, overused, and abused: amazing, baby bump, shared sacrifice, occupy, blowback, man cave, the new normal, pet parent, win the future, trickeration, ginormous, and thank you in advance.

Finally, the bane of the Buzzwords. Overused by professionals according to LinkedIn are: creative, organizational, and effective. Followed by: extensive experience, track record, motivated, innovative, problem solving, communication skills, and dynamic.

Trends have their day. And then that day passes. So it is with the best words, the worst words, and the buzzwords. What have we learned? Occupy occupies a seat at the best table as well as at the worst table. Buzzwords can be a buzzkill. And let’s face it. Amazing was only amazing when Paul McCartney sang to his wife, “Baby I’m amazed at the way you love me all the time. And maybe I’m afraid of the way I love you. Maybe I’m amazed at the way you pulled me out of time, and hung me on a line, and maybe I’m amazed at the way I really need you.”



  1. I’m “amazed” at the number of overused words out there. Another one of my all-time favorites is “awesome”… enough already!

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