“I’m as guilty as anyone in letting these banish-worthy words get into print. This column is both artisan and gluten-free, an extension of my brand in a 24/7 environment full of world-class competitors. Whatever. At the end of the day, I’ll try to use best practices and resolve to do better.”
As random as this quote seems, it sums up all of the words used in 2013 that Thomas Egan in his article “Words for the Dumpster” believes should go straight to the bin.
I am guilty of using a lot of these words, and I am also just as guilty of being annoyed by these words and phrases. However, I think we kind of just have to deal with them. There is no way to completely remove these words from use suddenly, even if we banish them to the bin.
Throughout history (especially with the spread of the Internet), there have been numerous words and phrases that a lot of people find annoying and over-used. Every year, there seems to be a new list of words people hate and words people love. There’s already a poll for what word we should get rid of in 2014.
However many articles are posted, these words just seem to creep their way into our everyday use. I also think it’s good to remember that we started using these words for a reason, and I think they will start to be used less and less, but they will never disappear.
Words and phrases like these seem to come and go in popularity just like memes on the internet do. I think that the best way to deal with these words, rather than sending them “to the dumpster,” is to just ride them out and wait for them to go out of style. They will still be used, just not as much.
If the words and phrases do serve a purpose, we should allow them to serve that purpose until people find a new word or phrase to do the job. Admittedly, there might be words and phrases that work better, but I think they will come as the need arises. Once everything on the market is “artisan,” someone will come up with a word to describe an even better product, and “artisan” things will be on a lower scale. That trend kind of reminds me of Orville Redenbacher’s use of “gourmet” to market his popcorn, and suddenly everything was “gourmet.”
What do you think? It seems like a lot of people are ready to throw these words away, but why? If the words are serving a function, why try to get rid of them? If there are better words, do you think the authors should suggest them? Do you have any words you think would better replace the ones people are sick of? Are there any words you want to throw out?