DETROIT – YOU, sir (or madam): Focus, if you will, on a historical, on fleek listicle with words nominated for bigly exile. But it is not the convening of a meeting of the town hall or your rose in the echo chamber about them.
Northern Michigan Lake Superior State University on Saturday released its 42nd annual List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness.
The tongue-in-cheek, non-binding list of suggestions to the Sault Ste. Marie school. It includes “you, sir,” “focus” “town hall meeting”, “historical” “echo chamber,” “on fleek,” “bigly,” “listicle” and “your rose”, an obvious replacement for the “anger” of her hair-and-skin chin.
The others were “Frankenfruit,” “bête noire,” “guesstimate,” “spirit,” “dadbod,” “selfie drone,” “clean,” “post-truth,” “disruption” and “831” — a text ” and encoding of “I love you” (eight letters, three words, a sentence).
The division 2016 election influenced nominations, and was reflected in the inclusion of “bigly” and “post-truth.”
“Bigly” Merriam-Webster’s Top 10 for 2016. President-elect Donald Trump was crazy this year to say “big league” but making it sound like “bigly,” an archaic adverb, or an adjective that dates from around 1400.
“Post-truth”, a term that is sometimes used to describe the current political climate, is Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year.
John Shibley, Lake Superior State spokesman and list-compiler in chief, said: “much of the political vitriol” came in this year, with people who want to ban “President Trump,” “Crooked Hillary” and “Electoral College.” Shibley said that he was “an editorial decision not to wade into that swamp,” drained or otherwise.
He said that all of the words that the final list garnered 200-300 votes each, and the top vote getter was “echo chamber,” with more than 500 entries.
In short, the university received submissions of about 8,000 people and maintains an archive of more than 850 words.
Another Michigan school takes the opposite approach: Detroit Wayne State University tries by means of his Word Warriors campaign to unearth worthy words that have fallen out of favor. This year the list included “absquatulate,” which means, discreetly and abruptly leaving a place, such as a meeting or party, without the knowledge of the host. That is an old-school analog to the “spirit” on the banned words list.
Follow Jeff Karoub on Twitter http://twitter.com/jeffkaroub . His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/author/jeff-karoub .