Writers Tricks of the Trade VOLUME 8, ISSUE 4 - Page 17

ATTENTION WRITERS: W ORDS AND P HRASES C ITED F OR O VERUSE , M ISUSE O R G ENERAL U SELESSNESS IN THE P AST Y EAR H AL M ORRIS WWW . GRUMPYEDITOR . COM Every year the Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan issues their list of banned words and phrases. Some of them have been overused during the year to the point of nausea As writers, we need to be aware of these offenders so they don’t sneak into our manu- scripts. Thanks to veteran newsman and columnist, Hal Morris, who hangs out at www.grumpyeditor.com these days, here is the list. C ollusion, a word heard almost every day on TV news and spot- ted in print stories, made it to the list "We need to collude on getting rid of this word,” yelled the wordsmiths. Others making the banished list — with word collectors’ comments: Wheelhouse , as in area of expertise. “It’s an awkward word to use in the 21st century. Most people have never seen a wheelhouse.” In the books , as in finished or con- cluded. “It seems everyone’s holiday par- ty is in the books and it’s all there for friends to view on social media.” Wrap my head around. “ Impossible to do and makes no sense.” Platform . “People use it as an ex- cuse to rant. Facebook, Instagram, Twit- ter have become platforms.” OTUS family of acronyms such as POTUS , FLOTUS , SCOTUS . “Overused useless word for the President, First Lady, Su- preme Court.” W INTER 2019 Ghosting . “So somebody doesn’t want to talk with you. Get over it. No need to bring the paranormal into the equation.” Yeet, as in vigorously throw or toss. “If I hear one more ‘yeet,’ I might just yeet myself out a window.” Litigate . “Originally meant to take a claim or dispute to a law court now ap- propriated by politicians and journalists for any matter of controversy in the pub- lic sphere.” Grapple . “People who struggle with ideas and issues now grapple with them.” Eschew . “Nobody ever actually says this word out loud, they just write it for filler.” Crusty . “This has become a popular insult. It’s disgusting and sounds weird. Make the madness stop.” Optics . “The trendy way to say ‘ap- pearance’.” Legally drunk . ”People who are tick- eted for drunk driving are actually ‘illegal- ly drunk,’ and we should say so.” P AGE 12 W RITERS ’ T RICKS OF THE T RADE