Lake Superior State University 2009 List of Banished Words

Every year Lake Superior State University publishes its “List of Words to Be Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness”. This year, ‘green’, ‘carbon footprint’ and ‘iconic’ are on the list.

I find the overuse of iconic particularly irritating, here are some comments from others in reaction to the inclusion of the word on the list :

ICON or ICONIC – Overused, especially among entertainers and in entertainment news, according to Robyn Yates of Dallas, who says that “every actor, actress and entertainment magazine show overuses this.” One of the most-nominated words of the year. “Everyone and everything cannot be ‘iconic.’ Can’t we switch to ‘legendary’ or ‘famous for’? In our entertainment-driven culture, it seems everyone in show business is ‘iconic’ for some reason or another. “John Flood, Bray, Wicklow, Ireland. “It’s becoming the new ‘awesome’ – overused to the point where everything from a fast-food restaurant chain to celebrities is ‘iconic.'” Jodi Gill, New Berlin, Wisc. “Just because a writer recognises something does not make it an icon (a visual symbol or representation which inspires worship or veneration) or iconic. It just means that the writer has seen it before.” Brian Murphy, Fairfield, Conn.

Go here to read more.

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