What does the annoyingly popular term ‘YOLO’ (You Only Live Once) and the Northern Michigan’s Lake Superior State University have in common? Well, the popular word has earned a spot on the university’s 2012 Banned Words List. The list is compiled every year based on the submissions of everyday people who want certain words or phrases banished from the English language at the very most; or at least used less in the everyday lexicon.
This year there are some buzz phrases nominated, like ‘spoiler alert’, ‘double down’ and ‘bucket list.’ However, legitimate words like ‘passionate’, ‘guru’ and ‘job creators’ have been thrown in the hat as well. Trending catchphrases and ‘real’ words can be nominated. The point of the list isn’t to actually get words banned, but to highlight the misuse or overuse of certain words and phrases during the year. One such phrase, ‘fiscal cliff’ has people reeling. Journalists have used that term this year to refer to an impending financial crisis in this country, but instead of labeling it just that, the more enticing term ‘fiscal cliff’ has been used instead.
People looking to hear less ‘YOLO’ next year may be in luck. Drake has called out Macy and Walgreens for selling merchandise with the catchphrase, made more popular this year by Drake’s lyrics in the song ‘The Motto’. The Canadian rapper wants the retailers to pay him for the use of the slogan. Thus far, neither retail giant has responded to his demands and merchandise is still on sale. But news of Drake’s campaign against both companies has left some happy to leave the term far behind in 2012.
‘The Motto’ rapper may think that he’s going to get some of that Macy’s or Walgreens money, but he should think again. If he thinks he can demand payment for a slogan that has been around for years, he should think again. Donald Trump tried to coin the well-used phrase ‘you’re fired’ after making it popular again on his reality TV show ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’ He had no such success in doing so.
If ‘The Donald’ can’t get paid for a catchphrase, what makes Drake think he can?
The full 2012 Banned Words List is comprised of the following words and terms:
Kick the can down the road