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Closing the book on 2009’s worst words

As we close the book on 2009 –a stimulus filled year filled with bungled bailouts, botched health care reform, upended elections here in Pike County, and worries over everything from the economy’s stability to the fate of our local hospital – we can take pause today to reflect on something a little more lighthearted.

Once again, the wordsmiths at Lake Superior State University have issued their list of words that should be banned from the common lexicon. The mix of overused, abused and useless words and phrases includes:

Shovel-ready: Which, of course, refers to the projects which supposedly were ready for the infamous federal stimulus funds that were to revive our economy. Despite a number of projects ready to go, none of Pike County or Troy’s “shovel-ready” projects warranted funding under the stimulus plan. How’s that for dissapointinment?

Tweet, tweeting and tweeted … And the list goes on. All the lingo associated with the rise of the Twitter Web site, particularly when used (or is that misused?) as a verb, has English teachers’ toes curling across the country.

Bromance and chillaxin’: Now, we’re not sure what to say about the inability to describe those special friendships as “bromances,” but we’re definitely gland to be rid of the Miley Cyrus-fave “chillaxin.” For the record, can we have a little less Miley in 2010, as well?

Toxic assets made the list, as well, although we suspect it’s in reference to financial instruments at the heart of the economic crisis and not anything associated with Brittney Spears.

Of course, 2010 is sure to spawn its own lexicon of overused, abused and misconstrued words. We’ll just have to wait and see what they are.