Friday, January 4, 2008

The New (and exceedingly lame) 2008 List of Banished Words

New year, new list of words nominated for banishment. I expect better.

It's bad enough to ban words for which no useful substitute is offered, such as "waterboarding," or "Post 9/11," but to flaunt ignorance with an entry like the following is shameful:

AUTHOR/AUTHORED – "In one of former TV commentator Edwin Newman's books, he wonders if it would be correct to say that someone 'paintered' a picture?" – Dorothy Betzweiser, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Without the original source to hand, I can only hope that Newman was having fun. But to Ms. Betzweiser, who submitted the now banished construction, I can only say, No, dear, it would not be correct. Nor would it be correct to say, "I think I'll sit down and auth a book." Different rules at work.

Not to get emotional, but all in all, it's a huge disappointment, with none of the pop of those sweet lists they used to come out with back in the day when the surge of wit from random contributors anxious to give back something to the language would decimate, with a perfect storm of condemnation, those wordsmiths deserving to be tossed under the bus for abusing our precious tongue. Alas, those days are gone, and the list for 2008 is what it is.