Poll: What Word Should Be Banished in 2014?

No mo' FOMO? You tell us

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Katy Steinmetz for TIME

In recent years, TIME has polled the public on an important question: What word or phrase would you like to banish from the vocabularies of everyone, everywhere, until the universe collapses upon itself and all is dust?

After 2011 wrapped up, readers voted to blacklist OMG. As 2012 drew to a close, YOLO topped the list of things people wanted to never hear again. And now, in the final days of 2013, it is again time to air linguistic grievances.

Read the curmudgeonly descriptions below and see which one best suits your personal peeves. Cast your vote in our poll, pass it around, and we’ll announce a winner next Wednesday—to be banished forthwith!

awesome sauce (int.): If a 12-year-old is eating mind-blowing marinara, let him call it “awesome sauce.” But, when it comes to generally expressing excitement, you think adults can do it in a way that seems less wet and gross.

because + noun/verb/adjective (prep.): When people started tacking a cheeky “because science” or “because politics” on the end of sentences, you found it funny. Now it has all the freshness of a C-SPAN rerun.

bromance (n.): Sure, some “bromanteaus” have given you a good chuckle, but after years of this trend, let’s just say the bromance is over.

epic fail (n.):  You think this is a decent burn … if the person using it has somehow traveled to the year 2007.

FOMO (abbrev.): As last year’s winner, YOLO is disqualified from the poll. But still eligible for banishment in 2014 is its tweeny cousin. You have no fear of missing out on FOMO.

foodie (n.): You sympathize with cultural pundits who say we’re living in a “foodier-than-thou” culture. If someone is pretentiously preoccupied with that latest dried meat, let’s not reward them with an adorable label.

Friendsgiving (n.): Thanksgiving is Thanksgiving no matter who you’re with. This cloying name—conceived with all the avant-garde sensibility of a Family Circus comic—almost made you lose your appetite this year.

hashtag (n.): You’re not proposing that people neglect the useful symbol that organizes messages on Twitter. But we need to stop talking about hashtags incessantly and certainly need to stop using that word to faux-label live, face-to-face conversation. “Hashtag stop this.”

lolz (n.): Hear that? It’s the sound of no one laughing anymore.

presh (adj.): Consider a vote for presh—as in precious—to also be one for abbreviations from past polls, such as jelly, cray cray and totes. If it’s something a female antagonist might say in a Freddie Prinze, Jr. movie, you’re generally against it.

selfie (n.): A little less focus on the self would do us all some good. And maybe teens would be less likely to sext themselves into a world of trouble if we called them “self-absorbies.”

swagger (n.): As a general rule, once a slang term for coolness has become the title of a self-help book on parenting, it’s time to give it a nice long rest.

twerk (v.): You can’t un-see that clip of Miley Cyrus, but everyone can stop talking about a “dance” that symbolizes the shallow horrors of modern pop culture.

Twitterverse (n.): You realize some people’s universes may revolve around their tweetups with tweeple in which they twirt and come to twisticuffs, but yours does not. Sink Twitterverse to the bottom of the ocean, and chain blogosphere to the same cement block.

to win the Internet (v.): The Internet is not a competition. Even if it was, so many popular people and memes have now “won” it that the distinction might as well be a certificate of participation in a fourth grade P.E. class.

This is an edition of Wednesday Words, a weekly feature on language. For the previous post, click here. Results will be posted in next week’s edition. 

11 comments
deconstructiva
deconstructiva

"Awesome sauce" is gross enough to earn my banishment vote, but "lolz" should get a serious look. How often do people literally laugh at other comments? Great Youtube videos do earn real laughs, so they get a free pass.

samanthamcgarry
samanthamcgarry

I feel compelled to say that "awesomesauce" was one of the words recommended for the chop a year ago in my annual blog post on #wordstoretire. I'll be keeping a close eye on this poll as I'm about to compose our list for 2014. If you'd like to see which other words we wanted to retire for 2013, you can find it here: http://www.inkhouse.net/words-to-retire-in-2013/


Bill22
Bill22

The one word that never appears on these lists is 'iconic' or 'icon' - that's because news people use them ALL the time!

Mr.Stark
Mr.Stark

I hate it when people end their sentences while speaking to me in person with "hashtag (something)"

grape_crush
grape_crush

All of the above.

(and what is it with wingnuts who can't resist the urge to make everything political? lighten up, willya?)

eagle11772
eagle11772

"Obama" is the word that should be banned forever.

sajidashraf
sajidashraf

YOU HAVE GIVEN VERY LESS OPTION. PLZ INCLUDE THE WORD ISLAMIC TERRORISM----------ITS HURT MILLIONS OF MUSLIM ACROSS THE WORLD.---- AS EVERY ONE KNOWS TERRORISM HAS NO RELIGION-----THEN WHY WE USING THE WORD ISLAMIC TERRORISM.

#libtardedamerica
#libtardedamerica

@sajidashraf  

"THEN WHY WE USING THE WORD ISLAMIC TERRORISM"

because a huge number and percentage of terror attacks in recent years have been committed by islamic extremists in the name of allah or jihad, so yes, in these instances there is a religion associated with the acts of terror, hence islamic terrorism. maybe when your people stand up to the extremists trying to wipe out the "infidels" (i.e. everyone in your warped world view), stop raging against western societies that, more often than not, they choose to be a part of, and actually try to move out of the stone age, the connotation will go away. until then, if the shoe fits, deal with it.