Lake Superior State University in Michigan has released its annual List of Words to be Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse, and General Uselessness. The phrase receiving the most nominations for banishment in 2012 was, unsurprisingly, “fiscal cliff.” LSSU published some sentiments from those voting through its website to eradicate the phrase from public discourse:
“You can’t turn on the news without hearing this. I’m equally worried about the River of Debt and Mountain of Despair.” — Christopher Loiselle, Midland, Mich.
“Makes me want to throw someone over a real cliff,” — Donna, Johnstown, NY
“If only those who utter these words would take a giant leap off of it.” — Joann Eschenburg, Clinton Twp., Mich.
Other words and phrases deemed worthy of retirement include “kick the can down the road,” “trending,” “spoiler alert,” and “double down.” Unfortunately, though we may not have to hear and read about the fiscal cliff on a daily basis for much longer, many of the other journalistic clichés on the list have demonstrated their staying power; Jay Nordlinger first noted the ubiquity of “double down” in 2009.