Monthly Archives: January 2012

10 Words to Use – Or Not!

Language is alive and thriving. New words enter our language, whether we like them (and want to use them) or not. Following are some great (and not so great) additions to our language, courtesy of the good people residing in ivory towers (aka universities).

Lake Superior State University released its 37th List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness.  These include pop culture catchphrases (aka E! speak) “baby bump,” “man cave” and “the new normal.”

Hot on its heels, Wayne State University released its fourth list of 10 words it says deserve greater use.

The English language has more words in its lexicon than any other,” said
Jerry Herron, dean of Wayne State’s Honors College. “By bringing these words
back into conversation, we expand our ability to communicate clearly and
help make our world a more interesting place
.” Quod erat demonstrantum.

Curious about WSU’s top 10?

  1. Antediluvian: Antiquated; old-fashioned; out of date. (Literally: “before theflood,” referring to the biblical deluge. No not confuse with “après nous, la déluge)
  2. Erstwhile: Former; bygone.
  3. Execrable: Atrocious; wretched; abominable.
  4. Frisson: Thanks to the French, this word meaning that sudden, involuntary shiver felt at times of great emotion.
  5. Parlous: Dangerous or risky. It’s a variant of the Middle English word “perilous.”
  6. Penultimate: Next to last.
  7. Sisyphean: Actually or apparently endless and futile. (After Sisyphus, who was doomed by the gods to roll a stone uphill, only to have it always roll back down).
  8. Supercilious: Contemptuous; disdainful; condescending.
  9. Transmogrify: To change completely, usually grotesquely, in appearance or form.
  10. Truckle: Submit obsequiously; be subservient; kowtow.

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