Lake Superior State University in Michigan has released its annual list of words “banished from the Queen’s English for misuse, overuse and general uselessness.” On the list: sweet (”It is annoying when young children use it and have no idea why, but it really sounds stupid coming from the mouths of adults”); post 9/11 (”You’d think the United States didn’t have jet fighters, nuclear bombs, and secret agents, let alone electricity, ‘pre-9/11′”); and organic (”Things have gone too far when they begin marketing T-shirts as organic”).
My favorite is the ubiquitous phrase it is what it is. Said one critic: “It means absolutely nothing and is mostly a cop out or a way to avoid answering a question in a way that might require genuine thought or insight. Listen to an interview with some coach or athlete in big-time sports and you’ll inevitably hear it.”
The full list is here.