Each year, dictionary mavens come up with a list of new words being added to their reference works. Among the most recent “acceptable” words: mondegreen, norovirus and pescatarian.

The problem is, the editors don’t tend to eliminate words and phrases that have become meaningless due to mis-use, feeble attempts to create new slang based on nothing in particular, or are just annoyingly sloppy talk.

Here is my first “Top 10″ list of such examples. Feel free to add your own.

Amazing (so overused it has ceased to be … amazing)

• Buck (now being featured on TV dance shows, which means unfortunately it will quickly enter the mainstream slang vocabulary)

Somewhat unique (there are no degrees of uniqueness)

Ultra (the word means extreme, but is used any time the right adjective can’t be thought of)

• Mega (once “super” wore out, this replaced it)

• No problem (instead of “You’re welcome”)

• Basically (it seldom is basic)

Bitch (except at dog shows)

Book (as in to make haste)

Substance abuse (that could include overeating of potato chips; call it what it is)

MORE TO COME … I’m sure.


About Bill Dowd

Webmaster/social media coordinator for the Southern Rensselaer County NY Rotary Club.

Posted on February 10, 2010, in Language. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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