Saturday, January 5, 2013


Banished to vaporized memories?
 The vapor's are still there.

When I was an english major at ASU, ok like in the '70's', an english professor made the statement that there are no bad words, there is only bad usage.  From that time to forever this is what I believe.

I've been following the last two posts on, they have a blog. These last two posts THE WORST WORDS OF 2012, and The words you want to banish in 2013 got me going.

If words were banished, instead of shelved, the whole field of etymology would vanish. That's not what these articles are about.  It's about a bunch of writer's/thinker's, and weirdo brainy types venting. These words are their place of business, and writer's don't usually quit their jobs, or throw away their tools of the trade (any words); they vent.  How do they vent? By messing with words more.

There was one comment that I am going to save because it simply and clearly points out certain writing principles that will be helpful to refer to as I improve my writing. I was going to write something about this myself, but I will save my time now since Scyphi explained it to my satisfaction. And so fellow writer's, I will share it here:

Scyphi on January 4, 2013 at 12:08 pm
Actually, none of these words should be banished, because the only problem most people have with a number of them is that they’re overused, and the solution to that isn’t to get rid of them, but to teach people to be more diverse and to try and use a wider variety of words. Banishing words won’t solve that problem, because then it’ll only pave the way for other, replacement, words (or phrases) to be overused and then the loop continues.
Then there’s the smaller, background, matter that some of these words are slang words, and I’ve noticed that most people that dislike slang words in ways such as this are language purists (or the words are hurtful or discriminatory in some way, but none of these that I saw fit that) and in such instances, they’re being too narrow-minded to see the potential of slang words, which kind of “spice up” and diversify a language in a whole number of ways, and help a language to continue to evolve, develop, and be creative like it ought to. Personally, I think that English, or any language for that matter, would actually be quite boring without slang words, even if we don’t necessarily like them or don’t agree with their usage.
Also, some of these words seem annoying and overused because they are still new enough that there aren’t many other ways to describe it. For example, and this is directed to Chris Hadden’s comment, “going viral,” while it is indeed overused, it’s overused because I know of no other term that sums up the meaning any better than that. Even Chris’s suggested alternatives, while not at all bad, are notably longer and clunkier than “going viral.” So if you think it’s overused, a better option would be to come up with a just-as-effective alternative for people to use, and try and urge as many people as you can to use it.
And of course, I will grant there are exceptions to all of this, but even then they still fall into a fairly similar ballpark. Someone’s taken a disliking to a word, and believe that the only way to fix it is to take it out on said word and get rid of it, but I would argue that such petty actions would only limit our languages and sorely prohibit them of their freedom to change and evolve, which a language has just as much right to do as any human being, and, historically, can’t really be prevented anyway. English is the supreme example of this (research it’s history to see what I’m talking about).
But in short, banishing these words will gain you all nothing.
Just my two bits.


Which brings me back to my english professor who said 'there are no bad words'... In the seventies every other word out of everyone I heard was the f--- word.  So this professor challenged us to get out our thesaurus and find some new words to use. She said we might find it enjoyable.  And I did.  And I still do. It changed my life. Fuck!
Yes I'm still using my holiday mug.
 I get to until January 6th because that's when the wise men brought Jesus his presents.

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