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Sunday, March 24, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Huckleberries Online

Richert: Forgettable ‘08 Words

My friends and colleagues on the National Conference of Editorial Writers e-mail listserv have been spending the past few days kicking around phrases that deserve to be booted from the lexicon. I'll save you the trouble of rummaging the archives. I¹m sure some of these words and phrases have found their way into one of my columns, blogs or editorials. I am just an imperfect writer describing a perfect storm. More on that later. How's that for telegraphed foreshadowing? But today is all about moving forward. The losers, please. Some of these clunkers need little elaboration. "Game changer?" Only if you¹re writing about a kid who has graduated from Hungry, Hungry Hippos to Scrabble. And, as long as we¹re being all competitive, how about "win-win situation?" Sorry, pal, you lose. Some words, to torture a sports metaphor, are perfectly fine words playing out of position. They are nouns forced to act like verbs: impacted, tasked. And, of course, gifting. "First, we kill all the lawyers, who are responsible for this phrase," writes Naomi Schalit of the Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel in Augusta, Maine. "'Gifting' is a legal term that has infiltrated everyday life with ugly results"/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Which new words or phrases that bug you?

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.