Zeroize the Verbing of Innocent Nouns

So, here I am socializing this list of problematic words with my stakeholders….but since this sentence (while perfectly acceptable in my place of work) barely sounds like English, let me explain. Lake Superior State University reminds us they exist every year by publishing their annual list of words and phrases that have been overused and should be sent to the bench, the showers, or perhaps the airport with a one-way ticket. Many of those words appear in the opening segment of this post and two of my favorites from years past appear in the title.

I was appalled in reviewing the complete list to note how many of these have crept into my writing and my everyday vernacular. In my own defense, the list has been growing for 40 years and has managed to identify┬ásome intractable dandelions that have stuck with us in American English (example: “My Bad”) along with some withering violets that have faded from use (example: “Sit On It”).

Review this list carefully and do note that while you are there, you can apply for a Unicorn Hunting License. There are worse ways to support LSSU and good clean English usage…I guess.


The Passing of a Prince

The Economist posted a piece about an elderly gentleman in India who died a modest and obscure death but had once been a tiger-hunting prince and a palace-dwelling king. Now the palace is a school and the former sovereign lived in a mud hut at the end of his life. Villagers would come to pay their respects.

It was the independence of the new country that helped turn the tide (along with a flashy lifestyle that could not be sustained). The old king signed papers to merge his realm into the new India and received a payment in return. When well-meaning friends cajoled him to go into politics, he replied that “kings do not beg for votes.”