Dec 31, 2012
By Bob Sheppard
Spoiler alert: This story contains words and phrases that some people want to ban from the English language. “Spoiler alert” is among them. So are “kick the can” “down the road”, “trending” and “bucket list”.
“Spoiler alert”, the seemingly thoughtful way to warn readers or viewers about looming references to a key plot point in a film or TV show, nevertheless passed its use-by date for many, including Joseph Foly, of Fremont, Calif. He argued in his submission that the phrase is used as an obnoxious way to show one has trivial information and is about to use it, no matter what.
The phrase receiving the most nominations this year is “fiscal cliff”, banished because of its overuse by media outlets when describing across-the-board federal tax increases and spending cuts in the U.S. that economists say could harm the economy in the new year without congressional action.
Other terms coming in for a literary lashing are “superfood”, “guru”, “job creators” and “double down”.