Words "viral" and "epic" consigned to college trash

Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:38pm EST
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By Ros Krasny

BOSTON (Reuters) - This story might be epic, and could even go viral, but not if Lake Superior State University has anything to do with it. Just sayin.'

The small college in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, released on Friday its annual list of "banished words" -- terms so overused, misused and hackneyed they deserve to be sent to a permanent linguistic trash can in the year ahead.

"Viral," often used to describe the rapid spreading of videos or other content over the Internet, leads the list for 2011.

"This linguistic disease of a term must be quarantined," Kuahmel Allah of Los Angeles said in making a nomination.

Runners-up included "epic" and "fail," often twinned to describe a blunder of monumental proportions.

A total of 14 words were on the list.

Cliched terms such as "wow factor," "a-ha moment," "back story" and "BFF" (Best Friends Forever) rated highly. The very au courant use of "Facebook" and "Google" as verbs got a thumbs down as well.

As usual, election-cycle zingers and catchwords quickly look as worn out as last year's campaign posters.   Continued...