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The former Daily Statesman is now The Dexter Statesman and currently does not have an operating website.

2008 Banished Word List

Posted Friday, January 2, 2009, at 7:16 AM

In an attempt to cheer myself up after the holidays, I decided to look up the list of most misused words of 2008. I heard part of it on KFVS this morning. See what you think of this list:

Lake Superior State University 2009 List of Banished Words

* Green- Number One nominated word on the list. Includes phrases like "going green," "building green," "green technology."

* Carbon footprint- A politically correct word to describe damage done to the environment.

* Maverick- We remember this term from the recent presidential race, don't we?

* First Dude- This reference to Sarah Palin's husband was objectionable to some people because of its "teeny bopper" sound.

* Wall Street/Main Street- Who didn't get tired of hearing this one?

* Icon or iconic- These words are mostly overused in the entertainment industry.

* Game changer- This cliche is overused in the news media, political arena and in business.

* Staycation- I've used this one myself, but my thinking is that the newly-created word is a practical one for making vacationers feel as if they've made a wise choice in hard economic times.

* Desperate search- I disagree with this one. I haven't really heard it much.

* Not so much- I have not so much to say for this phrase, either...

* Winner of five nominations- Another choice that I find puzzling. Surely there are better choices for the top 12 list.

* It's that time of year again- I agree with this final choice. Newscasters are particularly guilty of overusing this phrase.

That's the end of the list, but I feel sure we could improve on it. I would add the word most overused in the election: change.

From atop the cold, gray hills of Tillman, Missouri, this is your rural reporter, Madeline, wishing she had a good cup of coffee.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Gotta add 'gotcha', thanks for a wake up call this morning.

-- Posted by changedname on Fri, Jan 2, 2009, at 9:17 AM

Here's one: Bailout

-- Posted by swift on Fri, Jan 2, 2009, at 12:25 PM

"at the end of the day",and "cha-ching", both of these pieces of drivel should most certainly disappear at any time!!

From the rolling ridges of eastern Kansas, enjoying a good cup from the Gevallia drip pot, (apologies to the "teach"), I remain, kkcaver47.

-- Posted by kkcaver47 on Fri, Jan 2, 2009, at 12:55 PM

Ah, c'mon, how could someone from Kansas just happen to find a Dexter, Missouri blog???

My additions to the list:

"It's not rocket science."


In conversation, I find "you know" and "like" really irritating!

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Jan 2, 2009, at 9:21 PM

add two phrases- "know what I'm say'n?" and "know what I mean?"

-- Posted by swift on Sat, Jan 3, 2009, at 10:04 AM

"My bad"--hate that one! Since when can't one apologize by just saying he/she is sorry? "Dis" is quite annoying, also.

-- Posted by GONENOW on Sat, Jan 3, 2009, at 9:13 PM


-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sat, Jan 3, 2009, at 10:50 PM

How about "hottie"?

-- Posted by GONENOW on Sun, Jan 4, 2009, at 11:02 AM

I notice news/interviews with the person being interviewed constantly saying, "Absolutely."


-- Posted by lovebooks on Sun, Jan 4, 2009, at 12:31 PM

I find "shut-up" being said out of disbelief, and "way" and "no way" being used as actual dialogue annoying. Like in that Wal-Mart (yes, I said it) commercial...makes me think some people aren't intelligent enough to have an actual conversation.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Sun, Jan 4, 2009, at 4:31 PM

ARG! Dolphin, you said the WORD!!

Any TV commercial advertising food usually takes words off the "should be banned" list, particularly the ones where crude-looking guys are going through the drive-through and stuffing their mouths full of fast food.

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Jan 4, 2009, at 4:55 PM

Regis just used another one: "Hello?!" meaning "Are you stupid, or something???"

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Jan 4, 2009, at 6:15 PM

What about the hamburger chain that is "WAY better"? EEE! How about being much better, or far better? Why not be the best?

At least "wassup" has finally gone away--I HOPE!

-- Posted by GONENOW on Sun, Jan 4, 2009, at 6:58 PM

How about this one-- "The robber busted out of jail, but the cops caught him." We all use slang when speaking informally, but I think robbers escape from jail--and police officers capture them. When I listen to professional speakers, I don't expect slang. Busted has become acceptable to some people, but I won't ever buy into that.

-- Posted by GONENOW on Sun, Jan 4, 2009, at 7:13 PM

My personal favorite - "gone missing." Just plain "missing" is just fine with me!

-- Posted by letseatcake633 on Mon, Jan 5, 2009, at 9:55 AM

The one thing I've noticed a lot of lately (and this one will really get the lady teachers' blood boiling) is saying things like "I'm going to bring this to school." NO, you're going to TAKE it...and then you can BRING it home! My kids do this, and it drives me nuts.

Oh, and here's another thing that bugs me. When my in-laws moved down here from New York, they'd say, "Things are a lot different UP here." We're not UP here from New York! They also say the word "cousint" instead of "cousin." It's amazing what truly irks me when I have a conversation like that.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Mon, Jan 5, 2009, at 1:18 PM

You know, I'm like with you on that one mrsdolphin.

Must go out and look for my dear husband. He went missing some time ago. Whatever.

-- Posted by letseatcake633 on Mon, Jan 5, 2009, at 2:05 PM


-- Posted by lovebooks on Mon, Jan 5, 2009, at 3:39 PM

Lovebooks, how about Chicagoland? I've heard that it is in the state of Illinoise. It is never just Chicago on news or weather reports.

I'm with you, letseatcake, gone missing doesn't really make sense. Is she gone, or is she missing? I think she is just missing. That bothered me long before this list came into being.

Either way, I'm...GONENOW.

-- Posted by GONENOW on Mon, Jan 5, 2009, at 8:14 PM

The Chicagoland thing is definitely overused here in Illinois and since I was a young child I knew the S was silent. People don't say St. Louisland when talking about the metro area surrounding St. Louis nor do they refer to the outlying areas around other major cities as LA-Land or Miamiland. Marketing will use whatever means possible to get attention, hence the Way commercials for the EVIL PLACE.

Nice to know I am not the only one who cringes when certain phrases are continually spouted from the mouths of almost everyone. Have a great 2009!

-- Posted by SKDellinger on Tue, Jan 6, 2009, at 10:26 AM

Sorry, Mrs.Dolphin, but one of the most overused words in recent past has to be "amazing." I think that it's been used to describe everything.

I thought Maverick was a TV show in the '60's. Remember James Garner?

-- Posted by ct on Tue, Jan 6, 2009, at 2:33 PM

Or awesome!

-- Posted by swift on Tue, Jan 6, 2009, at 3:18 PM


Like, you know, literally, (this someone is pulling your leg "a little"), I read the paper on line and find intellectual stimulation contained within the "bloggings" in/of(sic) my home-town journal. I had Delores Parmenter for Senior English, fifth or sixth hour as I recall through the haze of memory. I'm in the Reveille for two years, here's another phrase for the refuse pile, "go figure"!!!kkcaver

-- Posted by kkcaver47 on Tue, Jan 6, 2009, at 5:51 PM

I think Delores Parmenter would have had fun with these words. I loved listening to her. I wanted to be like her, but I couldn't walk in the shoes all day. (Take that either way, since I could not fill her shoes, nor could I teach in spike heels.)

-- Posted by GONENOW on Tue, Jan 6, 2009, at 8:08 PM

I think Laddie Mae's heels were spiked, too, but I doubt she was five feet tall even then! How could such a tiny woman so terrorize a bunch of high school students?? Haha! That's what education needs more of today - drill sergeants! (That word never looks right!)

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Jan 6, 2009, at 9:45 PM

I can still hear Laddie Mae's click click click coming down the hall from the teachers' lounge. The door would open from that room and the smoke would roll out.

-- Posted by lovebooks on Wed, Jan 7, 2009, at 10:01 AM

She wore a 4.5 shoe. I know that for a fact because she and my mom were Canasta friends and when I was younger, Laddie Mae would give me her old high heels for playing dress-up.

-- Posted by lovebooks on Wed, Jan 7, 2009, at 10:02 AM

Worth a look;

UK Telegraph - Tony Harnden, the US based Editor who had the misfortune to suggest a list of loathed Americanisms. To save face he then had to run a similar list of loathed Britishisms.

New Zealand Herald of Friday 28.11.08 - a good sample of the rubbish we have to endure down under.

I think that people in business, TV presenters and scatty teenage girls have a lot to answer for.

Can we beat them ? Probably not although plenty have tried. We should concede defeat and join in. Start by scattering some misplaced comma's and apostrophe's, (sorry), about. Pour yourself a big gin and tonic, go easy on the tonic, lay back and laugh at the sheer stupidity and ignorance of these fools. You'll feel much better.

-- Posted by wartz on Thu, Jan 8, 2009, at 1:54 AM

Wow! A new voice on the blogs, posting at 1:54 a.m., indicating that wartz is either a night owl, or he/she is in fact, posting from "down under"! What do you think, folks??? I will have to see if I can find that site for "loathed Americanisms."

How do bloggers find this Statesman site, if they don't know it's here??? Do they just stumble on it??

Lovebooks, what a funny story about Laddie Mae's shoes!! The last time I saw her, she was wearing pink and working as a volunteer at the hospital in Dexter.

"Canasta friends"! That brings back memories! Mom & Dad played canasta. It must have been all the rage in the fifties!

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Jan 8, 2009, at 11:17 AM

Canasta--I still love it! Want to start a long distance club? Ha! My mom and dad both played. Mom was in a club, too. I don't think it was the same one as your mom's though, lovebooks.

Let's stay on subject here by reviving the word CANASTA! The biggest problem for our younger bloggers is that it doesn't require anything technological to play--just a couple of decks of cards and a pot of coffee. For some, that might threaten boredom.

-- Posted by GONENOW on Thu, Jan 8, 2009, at 2:04 PM

My mom's Canasta friends were Oleta Miller, Helen Dickirson, Lucille Rainey, Virginia Temples, Mil Brentlinger, Mrs. Swinger (2nd grade teacher), Laddie Mae, Ruth Sturm...Yahoo Games has Canasta, but I play Spades.

-- Posted by lovebooks on Thu, Jan 8, 2009, at 2:36 PM

Several of Mom's Canasta friends are still living, so I won't put names on here. I couldn't put too much, or my identity might be revealed! Ha!

How about Bridge? That was my game of choice when I was in a card club. Now, I doubt they'd let me even dust the table before a game. I don't remember a thing. I was always the "dummy-est" at the table anyway. I just went to have fun. There were others who got a little peeved about having fun at a card table. I didn't want to bleed for the game, but I did have fun.

For this topic: Let's add TECHNO! (I'll have to stop using it myself.)

-- Posted by GONENOW on Thu, Jan 8, 2009, at 2:51 PM

One thing that agravates me is when folks repeat what they say at the end of nearly every sentence. Examples: "I got the mail, I did." or "I'm cold, I am" or "He's sick, he is." Drives me crazy!

-- Posted by swift on Thu, Jan 8, 2009, at 3:40 PM

Sorry, Tony Harnden should read Toby Harnden.

On reflection and, in the cold light of day, I think I may have been somewhat fierce on some of the people who use these hackneyed words and phrases. Perhaps my sarcasm should have been directed towards those who have had the benefit of an extended education, namely the would be politician who scattered "you know" around like bullets from a machine gun !


-- Posted by wartz on Thu, Jan 8, 2009, at 4:01 PM

So should I assume, Swift, that you are no fan of Dr. Seuss? ("I am Sam, I am!")

-- Posted by lovebooks on Thu, Jan 8, 2009, at 5:09 PM

Oh, that's downright sacreligious, swift! Everybody loves Dr. Seuss, they do!

I never learned how to play CANASTA or BRIDGE! I've even forgotten how to play PINOCHLE (Did I spell that right??)

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Jan 8, 2009, at 9:44 PM

lovebooks, Dr.Seuss is the only with permission! lol! By the way, You can rap Dr.Seuss. He was and is the first real rapper. I've read his books outloud to the kids and now granddaughter and did it like I was rapp'n! You oughta try it, you should! I love Dr.Seuss!

-- Posted by swift on Fri, Jan 9, 2009, at 3:47 PM

Haha! Who would figure that Swift was a Dr. Seuss fan, he is?!!! There's so much more to the fine doctor than Green eggs and Ham!!

I shall try the rapping idea next time my 2 1/2 year old grandson comes over!! You're never too young or too old for Dr. Seuss!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Jan 9, 2009, at 8:41 PM

And never too old to rap! lol!

-- Posted by swift on Sat, Jan 10, 2009, at 9:46 AM

GL, your grandson is 2 1/2? So is mine! His brother will be 4 in April. Do you have one of those, too? Ha! This is the best job I've ever had--pay is measured in dimples! We love reading the repetitious books, too. The favorite is "Five Little Monkeys Jumpin' on the Bed!" Do you have that one?

-- Posted by GONENOW on Sat, Jan 10, 2009, at 9:49 AM

No, I don't! I've read it before, and I must get it!! I have only one grandchild close - the other three are in Minnesota - The oldest will be five on March 17, the middle just turned three in December, and the youngest will be a year old in February. Needless to say, I don't get to see my Minnesota grandchildren often, but the 2 1/2 year old makes up for it! He's at the stage where he says, "I did it!" when he pee's in the potty!

Dimples and hugs! How precious!

-- Posted by goat lady on Sat, Jan 10, 2009, at 3:00 PM

Ha ha! One of these days, he'll say, "I didn't do it!" Being a grammy takes the cake. I'm very lucky, since both of mine live five minutes from me. Little fellow calls me "Bwammy." That isn't on my list of words to do away with!

-- Posted by GONENOW on Sat, Jan 10, 2009, at 6:04 PM

I agree that the phrase "Ya see what I'm saying", The slang words, "like you know" are so silly. Do they still teach English in our schools? English teachers must be repulsed by such "slang.

-- Posted by louvonda on Sat, Jan 10, 2009, at 7:43 PM

For goat lady,

re your blog 1/8 1117

A new voice indeed and truly from down under and occasionally a night owl as well. I've been called many things during my life but he/she is a first - I'm a he.

It was easy to find the Statesman site and it has given me much enjoyment. I once worked with a person who came from Dexter and , for some reason, the name became lodged in my mind. I have used Google Earth to get some idea of your town and from there a simple search gave me lots of data about the town, population and newspapers.

This may well be my last offering to your site but I could not resist contributing to the Banished Word List - a universal problem I suspect !

Without being a a citizen it's not appropriate that I comment on life in USA - I am sure you have plenty of other do-gooders to do just that !

I was however delighted to see that Obama will be you next President.


-- Posted by wartz on Sun, Jan 11, 2009, at 3:09 AM

Wartz, so good to hear from you again. As you can see, our postings are not always gender-specific, so I had no choice but to use the dreaded "he/she" pronouns.

Sorry to hear that this is your last post. We get so many of the same people that it's truly refreshing to hear another voice.

I'm watching Obama on the Sunday morning news, and I admit to a joyful feeling of hope. One commentator just said, describing the meeting with past presidents, "This one president with no experience will have to govern with the wisdom of at least five." I will add our new president and our country to my prayer list this morning.

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Jan 11, 2009, at 9:21 AM

Gonenow: To my little grandson, who has a total of five other grandparent/great-grandparents, I'm known as, "Mi-Mi," a name I love to hear! Not on my list of banned words, either!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Jan 11, 2009, at 9:27 AM

Ha GL--My sister, whatever her public name may be, is known as Mimi by six grandchildren. I'm Grammy, aka Bwammy. They're on their way over right now to play on the swing set.

-- Posted by GONENOW on Sun, Jan 11, 2009, at 10:49 AM

Haha! I do not remember a "Mimi" in my graduating class at DHS!!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Jan 11, 2009, at 6:03 PM

Please make sure you explain to people ( younger ones) that you are talking about cards LOL would hate to hear the games my mother used to love playing, being used like," Canasta (Can Ask her) if you wants too"

-- Posted by Big Papa on Tue, Jan 13, 2009, at 12:55 PM

Yes , I agree Wartz do not make it be your last comment why should it matter where you're from. You joined in to a conversation , said nothing to offend and make the same point we are so I say WELCOME

the one that gets my goat ( sorry goat lady)is huh?

to be included with the illustrious yeah and nope

have we really let go of grammar altogether ( Street, Ebonics , Etc) Our language is already hard for some people that are learning it as a second language without adding more that even we have a hard time with.

-- Posted by Big Papa on Tue, Jan 13, 2009, at 1:11 PM

Thanks, Big Papa, for your kind words and welcome. I'll keep contributing where appropriate. I do get a real pleasure in following the comments especially those that give an insight to small town thinking and not just those comments of your more vocal politicians. Contrary to popular belief and, although I live down under, our citizens don't have to hang on tightly to avoid being tossed off the planet and into orbit !

Cheers and thanks again

-- Posted by wartz on Tue, Jan 13, 2009, at 2:21 PM

Haha! Big Papa, good point about Canasta and Bridge -- our younger readers might not have realized that we're talking about CARDS!! Hehe! Nothing racey for the fifties crowd, that's for sure!

Wartz, I once read (or heard) that America and England are "separated by the same language"!! Haha! Sometimes that may seem true, but I think it is sooooooo neat to hear the variations in different locales! I've been to England twice (too briefly), and I wish I'd had time to just sit on a street corner or in a shop and LISTEN! Australia is even more fascinating, since it lies at the ends of the Earth!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Jan 14, 2009, at 9:32 AM

I hate it when people say Mizz-OR-EE....and the words my teen daughter comes up with. "Don't be hatin" , a real favorite of mine. {sigh}

-- Posted by mizzou_mom on Wed, Jan 14, 2009, at 2:29 PM

I agree mizzou_mom,our Governors and our beloved Harry Truman pronounce our state Mizz-ur-ah (sorry,phonetics are not my forte).My Grandma says you can tell how long a family has lived here by how they pronounce the state name.

Recent emigrants and non-residents tend to use the long e.

"A hillbilly is from Mizz-OR-EE..."

I can't remember the rest but it's something like "A lady and a Sir are from Mizz-ur-ah"-I'm sure I will be corrected.

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Thu, Jan 15, 2009, at 6:10 PM

Not by me. I once checked the issue (can't remember where), and the pronunciation was almost equally divided, fifty/fifty between the two versions. I'd like to know the entire little mneumonic jingle - I've never heard it before. Outside the state, they are unanimous in support of the long "e."

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Jan 16, 2009, at 9:41 PM

I've been thinking about Missouree vs. Missouruh. My mama was from "uh" and my daddy was from "ee". I've lived my life trying to be fair to them both--so I'm from BOTH! Truth is, I just use both--always have, I guess. Does that mean I'm a semi- schizophrenic? HA!

-- Posted by GONENOW on Sat, Jan 17, 2009, at 8:24 AM


-- Posted by goat lady on Sat, Jan 17, 2009, at 3:45 PM

Haha, just kidding, gn!! I feel the same way about the pronunciation of "Missouri," and I've suffered the consequences of using the "uh," rather than the "ee," so if I'm concentrating, I use the "ee."

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Jan 18, 2009, at 8:39 AM

I guess it all depends on which self shows up at the time. Sometimes, sophisticated self is here without a doubt--she says Missouree. If her counter-ego is here, I'm from Missouruh, ya know. No matter who appears, Missouri is a beautiful state, and it's a great place to call home.

-- Posted by GONENOW on Sun, Jan 18, 2009, at 12:11 PM

Personally, depending on the weather it is more aptly called Mizzry! Sweltering through the summer months. Regardless of EE or UH, it will always be home regardless of where my residence may be located.

-- Posted by SKDellinger on Mon, Jan 19, 2009, at 8:46 PM

Yesterday I heard our new governor pronounce it with an "uh."

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Jan 22, 2009, at 7:50 AM

A business going down the gurgler is said to be "tanked". What on earth does this mean?

-- Posted by wartz on Thu, Mar 19, 2009, at 3:31 AM

'tanked' means that the business failed and is no more.

-- Posted by changedname on Thu, Mar 19, 2009, at 6:10 PM

I've also heard a case of inebriation as being "tanked," "loaded," "three sheets to the wind," "crocked..."

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Mar 19, 2009, at 9:50 PM

Thanks Dexterite. Why don't they just say "the business failed"?

Quite right GL and also "sloshed," "paralytic," "horizontal,""a bit wobbly",and a few others which may not survive the moderator's evil eye.

-- Posted by wartz on Sat, Mar 21, 2009, at 3:32 AM

"Paralytic" is not in our vocabulary, wartz, but I get the idea. We wouldn't use that for a case when the individual was "sloshed"!!

We use "tanked" because it's COLORFUL! I think that may be the reason for much of our slang, don't you think? Slang may be many things, but "boring" is not one of them!

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Mar 24, 2009, at 2:31 PM

wartz, you might find a business that plasters, but if the owner is plastered--look further!

-- Posted by GONENOW on Tue, Mar 24, 2009, at 3:24 PM

There is a business here called "Get Plastered" , a garbage disposal company called "We Talk Rubbish", and the most frightening of all, a hairdresser named "The Severed Ear".

More inebriation terms include "blotto"and "tipsy".

-- Posted by wartz on Thu, Mar 26, 2009, at 2:19 AM

Haven't heard of "blotto," but "tipsy" is a familiar one in the U.S.

Why on EARTH would a beauty shop associate itself with a severed ear???????? I would steer clear of that one!!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Mar 26, 2009, at 5:10 PM

I got on the Dexter blogs because my ancestors, the SIFFORDS were from Bloomfield back in the 1800s. Also my best friend, Verba lives in Bloomfield, a quaint little town. My mom was born in MO and just died at age of 95. She always pronounced the state as Missoura.

Wasn't that the old time way? Same here in Illinois. THe village of Bourbonnais is usually pronounced Bur-bone-us by the older generation.

I prefer bur-bon-ay like the French settlers named it.

I love your blogs


-- Posted by louvonda on Mon, Apr 20, 2009, at 1:51 PM

A few more to bury this one stone dead.

Wasted, well-oiled, legless, disorderly, lit up, out of it, pickled, pie-eyed, smashed, stewed, stoned, tiddly, tight.

Enough already?


-- Posted by wartz on Thu, Apr 23, 2009, at 9:32 PM

Haha! We do have language in common, wartz! All those are familiar in the U.S. except "tiddly," but it's a good one! You saved those up to throw them in at the end, didn't ya???

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Apr 24, 2009, at 8:27 PM

Yes !

(I can't wait to read the comments on Obama's first 100 days in office. I promise to restrain myself and make no comment at all. I am anxious to see the reaction from the pro-life brigade to the shooting of the three Somalis recently which I understand was authorised by your esteemed Leader).

-- Posted by wartz on Fri, Apr 24, 2009, at 11:54 PM

Oh, I can wait, all right. It'll be the same old thing it's been from the beginning. Now the Right is blaming him for everything from the recession to the peanut butter salmonella scare...

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Apr 26, 2009, at 4:08 PM

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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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