You read it here first.

Last spring, I vented righteously in this space about the worsening, coarsening state of the American language and suggested some early contenders for annoying buzzwords of the year.

You read it here first.


Last spring, I vented righteously in this space about the worsening, coarsening state of the American language and suggested some early contenders for annoying buzzwords of the year.


All sort of folks compile their lists of disapproval, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the people at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., a pretty city that sits about where two of the Great Lakes – Superior and Huron – hook up. Winters are long and cold there, and you need something to keep your mind off all that lake-effect snow. So every January for decades they have published their list, looking back at the previous year.


Let’s have a peek:


Shovel ready – called it. Last spring that was all the talk in Washington as the government was eager to get stimulus money out to projects for which state and local governments apparently had crews sitting in their pickups, blueprints in hand. It seems to have worked as planned. The money got spent. Perhaps Stimulus II will consist of buying new shovels.


Twitter, tweet, twitterverse, etc.  – OK, that one was easy. I said last year that by now we’d all be Twitterheads or we’d have forgotten what the fuss was all about. The jury is still out, but I’m leaning toward the latter.


Sexting – Ick. Called that one too, and it’s about what you’d think. It’s the sending of explicit stuff via cell phone. It’s said to be a teen thing. Kids, what’s the first rule of life in the age of Google? It’s that any communication that involves a a click, a camera or a keypad really isn’t private. Things float in the ether forever. And the first rule of boyfriends and girlfriends is that couples often break up, seldom pleasantly. The next rule has something to do with karma and revenge. Think about that.


The Lake Superior State folks round out their list with other winners such as transparency, csar, app, toxic assets, teachable moment, bromance, “too big to fail” and our new favorite verbs, friend and unfriend. Another group of respected experts named “unfriend” as the word of the year.


It doesn’t take too much imagination to figure that game changer, perfect storm, out of the box, pushing the envelope, ROFL, leverage, deleverage and similar clichés will be with us for a long time. For a long time going forward, that is.


Wait a minute. Is this an even-numbered year? The calendar says it is. When did that happen? This means elections, so count on fuzzy math, red states, blue states, battleground states and bipartisanship (which, if done right, would mean synergy). I think we’ve all seen the prequel.


I’m sure our proactive politicians will try to take it to the next level, but it sounds like a bridge to nowhere. As we all know, at the end of the day where you stand depends on where you still. This might not be what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they sat down to vision together.