List: No love for 'fiscal cliff,' 'spoiler alert'

Spoiler alert: This story contains words and phrases that some people want to ban from the English language. "Spoiler alert" is among them. So are "kick the can down the road," ''trending" and "bucket list."
Associated Press
Jan 1, 2013


A dirty dozen have landed on the 38th annual List of Words to be Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness. The nonbinding, tongue-in-cheek decree released Monday by northern Michigan's Lake Superior State University is based on nominations submitted from the United States, Canada and beyond.

"Spoiler alert," the seemingly thoughtful way to warn readers or viewers about looming references to a key plot point in a film or TV show, nevertheless passed its use-by date for many, including Joseph Foly, of Fremont, Calif. He argued in his submission the phrase is "used as an obnoxious way to show one has trivial information and is about to use it, no matter what."

At the risk of further offense, here's another spoiler alert: The phrase receiving the most nominations this year is "fiscal cliff," banished because of its overuse by media outlets when describing across-the-board federal tax increases and spending cuts that economists say could harm the economy in the new year without congressional action.

"You can't turn on the news without hearing this," said Christopher Loiselle, of Midland, Mich., in his submission. "I'm equally worried about the River of Debt and Mountain of Despair."

Other terms coming in for a literary lashing are "superfood," ''guru," ''job creators" and "double down."

University spokesman Tom Pink said that in nearly four decades, the Sault Ste. Marie school has "banished" around 900 words or phrases, and somehow the whole idea has survived rapidly advancing technology and diminishing attention spans.

Nominations used to come by mail, then fax and via the school's website, he said. Now most come through the university's Facebook page. That's fitting, since social media has helped accelerate the life cycle of certain words and phrases, such as this year's entry "YOLO" — "you only live once."

"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," he said.

Rounding out the list are "job creators/creation," ''boneless wings" and "passion/passionate." Those who nominated the last one say they are tired of hearing about a company's "passion" as a substitute for providing a service or product for money.

Andrew Foyle, of Bristol, England, said it's reached the point where "passion" is the only ingredient that keeps a chef from preparing "seared tuna" that tastes "like dust swept from a station platform."

"Apparently, it's insufficient to do it ably, with skill, commitment or finesse," Foyle said. "Passionate, begone!"

As usual, the etymological exercise — or exorcize — only goes so far. Past lists haven't eradicated "viral," "amazing," ''LOL" or "man cave" from everyday use.



The Big Dog's back

Fiscal cliff. 2 words. How Republican.

Licorice Schtick

They've just kicked the fiscal cliff down the road.


@the Big Dog's Back....LOL, how "passionate" of you to point that out. I should take you out for "boneless wings" some time. After all, you managed to get that out as a "spoiler alert" to focus our attention to it. Good job. "lol" Everyone should be so alert as you. (just teasing you. I couldn't resist.)

The Big Dog's back

LOL wiredmama.

Mime Bloggling

Well, the real spoiler here is that 77% of Americans will have a tax increase of which the Middle Income will take a significant hit. At least 2% for 50k. Minimum increase of $1000.00. Obama lied again.

"This afternoon, President Obama spoke while surrounded by an ad hoc group of “middle-class Americans” who he promised would be protected from tax hikes by the 11th-hour “fiscal cliff” proposal. That’s not what’s going to happen.

“For the last few days, leaders in both parties have been working toward an agreement that will prevent a middle-class tax hike from hitting 98 percent of all Americans starting tomorrow,” he said. “Preventing that tax hike has been my top priority, because the last thing folks, like the folks up here on this stage, can afford right now is to pay an extra $2,000 in taxes next year.” The agreement that’s been unveiled, however, would “make sure the taxes don’t go up on middle-class families,” he continued.

But Obama is wrong: Taxes will rise on the middle class even if this deal passes, because it doesn’t include an extension of the payroll tax holiday. That means that the paychecks for more than 160 million Americans will be 2 percent smaller starting in January, as the payroll tax will jump from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent. And a huge number of those hit will be middle class or working poor (Two-thirds of those in the bottom 20 percent would be affected by a payroll tax hike.)."

The Washington Post Dec. 31st, 2012

The Big Dog's back

President Obama didn't lie. It was a Tax HOLIDAY for SS. It expired. Move on.

Mime Bloggling

Just a little more documentation (proof) of Obama's lie:

Speaking in Dover, New Hampshire on Sept. 12, 2008, candidate Obama said:

“I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.” [Video]

During a nationally televised Vice-Presidential debate in St. Louis on Oct. 3, 2008, candidate Joe Biden said:

“No one making less than $250,000 under Barack Obama’s plan will see one single penny of their tax raised whether it’s their capital gains tax, their income tax, investment tax, any tax.” [Transcript]

In an address to a joint session of Congress on Feb. 24, 2009, President Obama restated the promise in forceful terms:

“If your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime.” [Transcript] [Video]

Read more:
Follow us: @taxreformer on Twitter

Liar, Liar pants on fire....

The Big Dog's back

In order to save our children from a future of debt, we will also end the tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% of Americans. But let me perfectly clear, because I know you’ll hear the same old claims that rolling back these tax breaks means a massive tax increase on the American people: if your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime. In fact, the recovery plan provides a tax cut – that’s right, a tax cut – for 95% of working families. And these checks are on the way.

The right wing handlers know their lackies are not going to read anything more than 2 words, so I copy and pasted the part of the speech transcript for you.


People were warned about the lies of Obama. There was a third party candidate that could have made a difference. More of the same with the Ds and the Rs.


Yes, and I wish he would have won. We wouldn't be in this mess had he gotten in.


And another thing. ALL of my concerns were ignored at local, state and national levels. My phone calls were ignored. My postal letters were ignored. My emails were ignored. The main news media also ignored me.

My opinion of all of the above?

Look and see of those in charge. You all voted these idiots into office.


Looks like either Romney or Bush.


Heh...looks like "anyone" in those pearly white buildings in Wa DC we call "our gov't". I don't care what party they are from.




After all the complaining about wanting to cut spending and not running up the debt, Republicans from New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey were at the podium shouting their lungs out to have the remainder of the House vote for their states to get money for help from the storm. No one would vote to pass the bill giving them aide. They were furious.

Did anyone else stay up and watch that? Talk about a double standard. They scream in one breath about not wanting to spend any money and in the next, they stand up and ask that the House spend money for their states in Federal aide. How is that not a double standard?

You want to cut some spending? Start by cutting all the foreign aide we give to other countries. That would save a MAJOR chunk of change right there. Why are we sending money to Pakistan? To Africa, To India? Stop sending those countries money. Let them fend for themselves for awhile and cut our deficit spending.

Dr. Information

Wired,.....research before you post. The Sandy relief bill would of passed if it wasn't so bloated with pork, aka, things unrelated to this disaster.


@ wiredmama222:

Check it out: Your buddy, Pres. Obama wanted to double the amount of foreign aid spending.

"Put the United States on a path to double foreign assistance," - Pres. Obama

The Big Dog's back

winnie, it might be a good idea to read your web references before copy and pasting them.


@ Dog:

So Pres. Obama broke his "promise"; disappointed?

It doesn't change the fact of what he said. Pesky facts. :)


ha ha ha- typical


Like, Whatever!

Dr. Information

Just wait until unemployment goes up again.......more blaming Bush and Republicans. Dems can't own up to failure. It's ok because when 2016 comes around and this country is in the pot, we can all blame Obama and Dems for the next 20 years and ill gladly hand you libs some duck tape lol.


Obama has broken more promises than any president I can ever remember. Its quite the national JOKE of the century.