We mean no offense to these words, even when we call them despicable. One woman's worst word might be another's best. Bad words are a matter of opinion, and each is entitled to his own. And sometimes by hating a word, you—strangely—grow to love it. ...With that warning, Doll also writes:
But agree with me on this: There is no better way for a semantic-minded person to remember the year than with a list of the words we used and saw and heard, those words we'd just as soon never write or see or hear spoken again.Her first word is one I use too often:
Actually. Adverb, mostly. When Sarah Miller declared war on literally over at The Awl, I argued that actually was worse, the "talk to the hand of the adverb community," or "the word that you use when you're actually saying, 'You are wrong, and I am right, and you are at least a little bit of an idiot.'" Actually, I still agree with that.Doll's list includes these and other words, with comments on each:
- Baby Bump. Horrid compound noun.
- Curate. Verb.
- Ecosystem. Noun.
- Epic. Adjective.
- Fiscal Cliff. Noun.
- Gaffe. Noun with political inclinations.
- Hehehe. The way a serial killer chuckles.
- Historic, historical. Adjective.
- INITIAL-WORDS. Usage type.
- Legitimate rape. Adjective-noun clause.
- Organically. Adverb.
- Really?! Expression of incredulity.
- Sustainable. Adjective.
Disclaimer: Simply because a word appears above does not mean we will cease to use it. That's just the way the word world works._________
Doll's article is featured today, Dec. 21, in my daily online paper, Garbl's Style: Write Choices--available at the Editorial Style tab above and by free email subscription.