Hashtag, twerking and selfie: Most annoying words of the year

Blame singer Miley Cyrus and President Obama for some of the vexing terms on the annual list from Lake Superior State University.

Singer Miley Cyrus both twerks and takes selfies like this one. No word on her opinion of Obamacare.
Singer Miley Cyrus both twerks and takes selfies like this one. No word on her opinion of Obamacare. Miley Cyrus

The words "selfie" (taking a photo of one's self); Obamacare (the nickname of President Obama's Affordable Care Act); and "twerking" (a provocative dance style made famous by singer Miley Cyrus during her MTV VMA performance) made the 39th annual List of Words to be Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness from Lake Superior State University.

The list is compiled from nominations sent to LSSU throughout the year and then released each year on New Year's Eve. It dates back to 1975, when onetime LSSU public relations director Bill Rabe and colleagues came up with the idea to urge banishment of overused words and phrases from the English language.

According to the LSSU Web site: "Much to the delight of word enthusiasts everywhere, the list has stayed the course into a fourth decade. Through the years, LSSU has received tens of thousands of nominations for the list, which is closing in on its 1,000th banishment."

Other words included in the list this year include: "hashtag," "Twittersphere," and "fan base," as well as overused suffixes such as -ageddon and -pocalypse. Coincidentally, the words "twerking" and "selfie" also made it into the Oxford Dictionaries in 2013.

(Via New York Daily News)

About the author

Crave freelancer Bonnie Burton is the best-selling author of "The Star Wars Craft Book" and host of the Web show "Geek DIY." When she's not writing or vlogging about sci-fi pop culture, robot fighters, and taco-delivery drones, she enjoys acting out Benedict Cumberbatch replicant fantasies with her Admiral Sackbar puppet. E-mail Bonnie.


Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
The best and worst quotes of 2014 (pictures)
A roomy range from LG (pictures)
This plain GE range has all of the essentials (pictures)
Sony's 'Interview' heard 'round the world (pictures)
Google Lunar XPrize: Testing Astrobotic's rover on the rocks (pictures)
CNET's 15 favorite How Tos of 2014