Words Mean Stuff

A SHORT LIST OF WORDS which, through overuse, have been consigned to the meaning-deficient self-parody heap:


(There are others, but these are what I found in this morning’s newspaper. Additions and substitutions welcome.)

6 comments for “Words Mean Stuff

  1. 2011.02.08 at 0904

    awesome, multicultural, progressive, fascist.

  2. 2011.02.09 at 0022

    Say, what’s wrong with “steampunk?” I only just found out about it a couple years ago, and hardly anyone I know has ever heard the term. Did you see today’s Google doodle?

    Y’all may do as you like, but I’m keeping “diva.” It’s part of my official job title, Data Diva. I even have vanity plates on my CRV reading D8A DVA (but some chowderheads think it means “date a diva.” From the Latin, “diva” literally means “first lady.”

    • 2011.02.09 at 0731

      1. That may be that I’m reading too much BoingBoing, which has turned steampunkoriffic in the past year or so.

      2. Yes, but you’re using the word correctly. My objection is that it’s being used by people who think it means “prima donna.” (A diva can act a bit like a prima donna, but a prima donna can never be a diva.)

  3. 2011.02.09 at 0034

    Do terms that never should have been coined in the first place count? If so, I nominate “African-American” and “Native American” for the slag heap. I already despise pretentious euphemisms created by politicians being ramrodded into the language, but when proper rules of nomenclature are not followed and the result does not accurately depict what it is trying to depict, it is truly insufferable.

    • 2011.02.09 at 0734

      An intriguing idea. I’m right there with you on political pretention, but what terms would you substitute?

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