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'Amazing,' 'baby bump' among words added to Michigan school's banished list

By Alan Silverleib, CNN
updated 3:46 AM EST, Fri December 30, 2011
Lake Superior State University solicited people online to nominate terms they consider tired, overused or annoying. The term 'man cave,' which was used during filming of a show earlier this year, is on the list.
Lake Superior State University solicited people online to nominate terms they consider tired, overused or annoying. The term 'man cave,' which was used during filming of a show earlier this year, is on the list.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Lake Superior State University releases its 37th annual list of banished words and phrases
  • "Amazing," "baby bump" and "man cave" are among those people asked not to be used
  • Others on the list include "ginormous," "win the future," and "thank you in advance"
  • The roster of unwanted words first came about at a New Year's Eve party in 1975

Read the Lake Superior State University 2012 List of Banished Words here

(CNN) -- If you're thinking of setting up an amazing man cave or showing off a ginormous baby bump next year, think again.

A northern Michigan school on Friday released its 37th annual list of words and phrases that it believes should be "banished" from the English language, and it suggests that some classic -- and perhaps hackneyed -- should get the ax.

Lake Superior State University once again solicited people online to nominate terms they consider tired, overused or simply annoying. Based on those submissions, the arbiters at the school decided to put the following on this year's chopping block: "amazing," "baby bump," "shared sacrifice," "occupy," "blowback," "man cave," "ginormous" and "the new normal."

"Pet parent," "win the future," "trickeration" and "thank you in advance" also have been unofficially sentenced to linguistic exile for the crimes of excessive and inappropriate usage, according to the university in Sault Sainte Marie on the Canadian border.

"Worn-out words and phrases are the new normal this year, but with some shared sacrifice, we can clean up the language and win the future," a school representative said in a written statement. "With the addition of this year's nominations, the list of words and phrases banished over the years has become ginormous."

"Amazing" -- arguably one of the most overused adjectives in the English language -- topped this year's list of submissions, according to the university.

"Banish it for blatant overuse and incorrect use ... to stop my head from exploding," begged Paul Crutchfield from Great Britain, according to the press release.

"Anderson Cooper used it three times recently in the opening 45 seconds of his program," said Sarah Howley, a resident of Kalamazoo, Michigan, referring to the CNN anchor. "My teeth grate, my hackles rise, and even my dog is getting annoyed at this senseless overuse.

"I don't even like 'Amazing Grace' anymore," she complained.

David Hollis from Hubbardsville, New York, insisted that not all men are enamored with the concept of the traditional man cave.

"It is not just overused, it is offensive to we males who do not wish to hunker (another awful word, often misused) down in a room filled with stuffed animal heads, an unnecessarily large flat-screen TV and Hooters memorabilia," he said. "Not every man wants a recliner the size of a 1941 Packard that has a cooler in each arm and a holster for the remote. So please, assign 'man cave' to the lexicographic scrap heap where it so rightly belongs."

Jim Eisenmann from Madison, Wisconsin, had some free advice for politicians hitting the campaign trail in 2012: dump "win the future" or you may not win the race.

"On its very face, it's an empty, meaningless phrase," he explained. "It basically says that anyone who opposes anything meant to 'win the future' must want to 'lose the future,' which is highly unlikely."

"Ginormous" seemed particularly irritating this time around, with contributors complaining that its usage shows a lack of proper education.

"This combination of gigantic and enormous makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck every time I hear it," said Gina Bua of Vancouver, Washington. "Each utterance reminds me of the high school drop-out that first used this offensive word in my presence."

"This word is just a made-up combination of two words," adds an Andover, Maine, resident named Jason, who refused to offer his last name. "Either word is sufficient, but the combination just sounds ridiculous."

As for "baby bump" -- a term used to describe a pregnant woman's rounded belly -- this "is a phrase we finally need to give birth to, then send on its way," declared Mary Sturgeon from Vancouver, British Columbia.

"I'm tired of a pregnancy being reduced to a celebrity accessory. Or worse, when less-than-six-pack abs are suspected of being one," said Afton, a respondent from Portland, Oregon.

Lake Superior State University's annual "word banishment" list was first created at a New Year's Eve party in 1975. The school now claims to receive tens of thousands of nominations every year.

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