List says ‘twerk,’ ‘selfie,’ both need ‘word-pocalypse’

US university's 39th annual list of 'please banish these' words


DETROIT— A Michigan university has issued its annual list of annoying words, and those flexible enough to take selfies of themselves twerking should take note.

In addition to “selfie,” and “twerking,” there was a strong sense among those who nominated words for the list that the word “hashtag,” and term “Mr. Mom” had both run their course.

“Selfie,” a term for a self-taken photo, often from a cell phone, led the way among 2,000 nominations for Lake Superior State University’s 39th annual batch of words to banish because of overuse, overreliance, or fatigue. Even President Obama got into the act when he took a selfie with other world leaders at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service.

“It’s a lame word. It’s all about me, me, me,” wrote David Kriege of Wisconsin. “Put the smart phone away. Nobody cares about you.”

Since 1975, the list has grown to more than 800 words. “The list is made up completely from nominations. We don’t just sit around and think of words that bug us,” said Tom Pink, a spokesman for the school in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

“Twerk,” or “twerking,” a sexually provocative way to dance, found a dominant place in parlance after Miley Cyrus’ performance at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Besides “hashtag,” others on the list: “Twittersphere,” “t-bone,” “Obamacare,” “intellectually/​morally bankrupt,” and anything “on steroids.” People also tired of the suffixes “-pocalypse,” and “-ageddon,” used to make words such as “snow-pocalypse” or “ice-ageddon.”