Alas, ‘trending’ is no longer trending

Last week I wrote about the folks at Lake Superior State University who, once a year, compile a list of over-used, misused words they would like banished from the English language.

I listed some of the words they have consigned to oblivion along with the years of their popularity, and added a few suggestions of my own.

Since then, LSSU has released its new list. Some I suggested indeed made the cut and also included were a few worthies I had not thought about.

Number one was “YOLO,” for you only live once. I really haven’t seen this used much but apparently it is all over the Twitter-verse (sorry).

Next was “fiscal cliff,” which may not be such a bad metaphor except that everyone is bound to be sick of hearing it. Whatever happened to “financial crisis?”

“Trending,” another abomination created by “social media,” was on the list, and another I had not thought about, but am wearied near unto death of hearing: “bucket list.” The movie wasn’t even that good; the term should never have lasted.

Then there is “spoiler alert,” no doubt over- and misused, and “guru.” Today, anyone with a smattering of knowledge or authority about anything is a “guru.” But I suspect the last real guru faded from the scene before the Beatles hit mid-life crises.

A few more made the list but I don’t think they merit repeating here, other than perhaps “boneless wings” and “job creator.” If it’s a boneless wing, did they remove the bone or was a bone ever there in the first place? And job creator – isn’t each consumer in the entire country a “job creator” to one degree or another?

The CNN story from which most of the above came nearly ended on a dismal note with the observation that, again thanks to the Internet, more words are being invented than ever before.

But then there is a flash of hope: the more words, the stiffer the competition for words to survive, so only the strong words that really mean something will make it.

If there are any other logophiles out there, this should be good news.

JLW