More bad words - banned by the New York Times

2 June, 2011 - 09:53

A little while ago I was fascinated by a post I read on the BBC website with a list issued by the British government of their banned buzzwords.

I spent about an hour last night catching up on some of my RSS feeds (which have fallen badly by the wayside since I've been helping Nee out with her wedding preparations) and design blogger Swiss Miss had a post to a fantastic New York Times blog post in the same vein called Words We Don't Say by Hugo Lindgren.

The story goes that when he first began his job at the New York Times, Kurt Andersen who was the editor at the time has a fantastic list stuck on the wall of his office of words that writers were forbidden to use in their articles. Wherever possible these words would be edited out. This is the image accompanying the article. Click on the image to view the NY Times post:

Kurt Andersens Banned Words

According to Hugo Lindgren this list is from 1977 at the latest, which was when he started his position at the newspaper, and yet fascinatingly almost all of the words on this list could be applied to a banned-words list of today. I like the comments on the article which suggest some more words: decidedly, going forward, utilize (omg I completely agree!!), however, arguably, impact, reach out to (instead of contact), and decidedly.

Also via SwissMiss I browsed over to a brilliant site that appeals strongly to my desire for order: ListGeeks. The homepage is made up of a grid of various lists by users (eg favourite smells, movies they want to see etc) and one lovely list screamed out at me: Terrible "Corporate Speak" Words by stilltron.

Terrible Corporate Speak Words by Stilltron on ListGeeks