Top Ten: Hall of Fame of Banned Phrases

Every year there is a new list of words or phrases we would like to eliminate. As 2013 dawns, here is a personal Hall of Fame of banned phrases.

CHARLOTTEJanuary 1, 2013 – Each year since 1976, Lake Superior State University has published a list of words and phrases that many would like to see banned from the English language.

With an enrollment of just 3,000 students, Lake Superior State is the smallest public university in the state of Michigan. In honor of their superior continuing contribution toward improving our verbal communication skills, here is a personal Hall of Fame list from the 37-year old project. LSSU’s compilation has been a service to mankind worthy of a Nobel Prize.

*(Banned phrases are listed in chronological order except for the ultimate pet peeve at the end.)

At this point in time (1976): It would be inappropriate to begin a banned phrase list without paying homage to one of the first. Would it be too difficult to replace five words with one, such as “today” or “now”? Unfortunately, avid Sean Hannity viewers might want to ban the word “now” since it begins nearly every sentence he says.

Irregardless (1979, 1988): This is the only “word” in this personal list that managed to be banned twice. Historically there have been twenty banned phrases that have earned double elimination and five have actually been eliminated on three occasions. Irregardless of the others, this is my only double play.

The Crib (1983): This one had a brief shelf-life when it was cute for athletes to describe their luxurious homes after signing multi-million contracts. It quickly got old as the rest of us mortals could only relax in our modest pads.

End Result (1991): We were actually looking for the beginning result but that wasn’t available. Alas, we were stuck with the end result which was an unsatisfactory final conclusion, and what we wound up with was déjà vu all over again.

Level Playing Field (1992): As often as this term was used in 2012 you might think it was a new entry, but believe it or not, it was banished 20-years ago. They have been leveling the playing field ever since but somehow it doesn’t seem to be getting any smoother.

At The End of The Day (1999): Wasn’t this a movie starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson? Oh no, that Howard’s End or was it Remains of the Day? Ah well, at the end of the day, maybe it was both. Whatever happened to “finally” or “in the end”? Perhaps we could have used “end result” but that was banned eight years earlier.

Refudiate (2011): We are getting closer to 2013 and this one has to be an all-time favorite. Since it is beyond the Palin, there is irrefutable evidence for it to be repudiated. “Make no mistakes about it” “going forward” “at the end of the day” and being “perfectly candid” it was “arguably” a “mental mistake.”

Baby Bump (2012): Surely the mainstream media could have given birth to a better phrase. Not only is it demeaning, it is also tacky. According to Lake Superior State, it has been getting high marks for several years but never made the list until 2012. Now that it has been included, let’s keep it among the deleted elite.

Fiscal Cliff (2012): This term only came into prominence after the November election, but it didn’t take long to wear out its welcome. Thanks to 2013, and a last minute vote by the senate, this one should fade quickly. Christopher Loiselle of Midland, Michigan says, “I’m equally worried about the ‘River of Debt’ and ‘Mountain of Despair’.” He could be right. After all, our government may be putting us on the “Road to Ruin.”

On the Ground (2003): With a full roster of verbiage, everyone will have his or her own pet peeve. This one is mine. Not only is it unnecessary in most cases, it is beyond redundant. We have been using it since the beginning of the Second Gulf War. If you don’t believe it is a useless phrase, remove it from virtually any sentence you hear in which it is used and you will quickly see that the sentence makes perfect sense without it.

Over the years, LSSU has listed hundreds of words and phrases for deletion. Comprising a Hall of Fame of just ten is an impossible task subject to near epidemic debate. The New Year will no doubt produce a new inventory of nauseating utterances to send us to the edge of the mental and “physical cliff.”

For now we leave our Hall of Fame of banned phrases and words “on the ground.” Meanwhile, as the New Year unfolds, the a new one begins, though for now it is somewhat “up in the air.”

Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in CharlotteNCTaylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club, which creates, and escorts customized tours to SwitzerlandFrance and Italy for groups of 12 or more.

Inquiries for groups can be made at Taylored Media has produced marketing videos for British Rail, Rail Europe, Switzerland Tourism, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council, the Finnish Tourist Board, the Swiss Travel System and Japan Railways Group among others.

As author of The Century Club book, Peabod is now attempting to travel to 100 countries or more during his lifetime. To date he has visited 71 countries. Suggest someplace new for Bob to visit; if you want to know where he has been, check his list on Facebook. Bob plans to write a sequel to his book when he reaches his goal of 100 countries. He also played professional baseball for four years and was a sportscaster for 14 years at WBTV, the CBS affiliate in Charlotte.



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Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club ( and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.


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