Spoiler Alert: 2012 list of banned words released, includes ‘spoiler alert,’ ‘fiscal cliff’ and ‘trending’

By Daniel Levine,

Lake Superior State University in Michigan is out with its 38th annual list of banned words it hopes no one uses in 2013. It includes words used far too often throughout 2012, including ‘spoiler alert,’ ‘fiscal cliff’ and ‘trending.’

The List of Words to be Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness has nearly reached 1,000 banned words, the university stated. The nominations come mostly through the university site with a committee making the final decisions.

The word that received the most nominations this year was ‘fiscal cliff,’ which topped the list. It is everywhere and Washington has until the end of today to keep the country from going off the ‘fiscal cliff,’ which could result in tax hikes and spending cuts.

‘Kick the can down the road’ is another phrase associated with politics, as politicians and others avoid major responsibilities. “Usually used in politics, this typically means that someone or some group is neglecting its responsibilities. This was seized upon during the current administration and is used as a cliché by all parties...Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, Tories, Whigs, Socialists, Communists, Fashionistas," Mike Cloran of Cincinnati, Ohio wrote as his reason for nominating the phrase.

‘Double down,’ ‘job creators/creation,’ ‘passion/passionate,’ ‘bucket list,’ ‘trending,’ ‘superfood,’ ‘boneless wings’ and ‘guru’ also made the list. ‘YOLO,’ which stands for ‘you only live once,’ is also on the list, as is ‘spoiler alert.’ So, from now on, if you’re about to spoil the next episode of The Walking Dead, don’t warn someone...just do it.

“What was once a polite warning has turned into a declarative statement: I have just spoiled something for you. When news outlets print articles with headlines such as, 'Huge upset in men's Olympic swimming,' with a diminutive 'spoiler alert' on the link to the rest of the article, I think it's safe to say we've forgotten the meaning of the word 'alert,’” Afton of Portland, Oregon wrote.

“The list surprises me in one way or another every year, and the same way every year: I'm always surprised how people still like it, love it,” university spokesman Tom Pink told The Associated Press.

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