Political observers may have been ambivalent about Tuesday night's House of Representatives vote to halt mandatory tax increases for all but the United
States' highest earners, extend unemployment benefits, and fend off other potentially damaging, self-imposed economic consequences.
Language lovers, however, had to be delighted, because it meant they were one step closer to never again hearing the phrase "fiscal cliff." That term
topped Lake Superior State University's annual list of banished words.
"Makes me want to throw someone over a real cliff," a poll respondent told the university.
Those language lovers may be less enthused about the ambivalence and exhaustion some feel over the deal, though. Fed-up politicos may feel compelled to
say, "Whatever," in response to the bill. That's the word that
topped Marist College Institute for Public Opinion's 2012 list of the most annoying phrases.
"Whatever" also was the most annoying word in Marist's 2011 poll.
The only word on Marist's list that would qualify as a buzzword is "Twitterverse," which 9 percent of respondents say they hated more than any other term.
To compile its list, Marist surveyed 1,246 adults over the phone from Dec. 4 to Dec. 6. Lake Superior State took nominations on its website and on Facebook and a committee selected its 38th annual list of "Words to Be Banished from the
Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness."
The complete lists are below.
Lake Superior State's Banished Words List
Kick the can down the road
YOLO (acronym for "You only live once")
Marist College's Most-Annoying Words and Phrases
Whatever (32 percent)
Like (21 percent)
You know (17 percent)
Just sayin' (10 percent)
Twitterverse (9 percent)
Gotcha (5 percent)
Matt Wilson is a staff writer for Ragan.com.