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'Twerk' And 'Selfie' Top Latest List Of Words That Need To Go

This year's whimsical "List of Words to be Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness" from the wags at Michigan's Lake Superior State University is led by:

-- Selfie. The ubiquitous word for images snapped of one's self "has the honor of receiving the most nominations this year," the university says.

-- Twerk/twerking. Miley Cyrus may have helped wiggle it into Oxford Dictionaries Online, but it's "time to dance this one off the stage," a tweeter tells the school.

Also on 2013's hit list (that's "hit" as a mobster would use the word, not "hit" in terms of popularity):

-- Hashtag. Complainers say they're #sickoftheword.

-- Twittersphere. #Giveitarest, many plead.

-- Mister mom. It's outlived its usefulness.

This is Lake Superior's 39th annual list of words that should be put out of their misery. As we said last year, when "fiscal cliff" was among the nominees, it's clear that the efforts to banish annoying words and phrases may be fun but isn't especially effective. Past nominees continue to be heard. They include:

— 1976: "At this point in time."

— 1980: "Yuh Know" and "have a nice day."

— 1985: "Quality time."

— 1990: "Impact."

— 1994: "Paradigm."

— 1996: "Been there, done that."

— 2000: " 'E'-anything."

— 2007: "Awesome."

— 2008: "Perfect storm."

— 2010: "Bromance."

— 2011: "Viral."

There's much more about Lake Superior's effort to improve the English language here.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott
Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.