They're the words we used incorrectly, too often and sometimes for no good reason. Lake Superior State University has released its annual list of the 15 most misused, overused or generally useless words.
The words are submitted by the public and the school's faculty narrows the list to the fifteen most notorious. This year, a symbol made the cut.
Hat-tip to A conservative blog for peace.
Among the overused words and phrases are are carbon footprint, icon and iconic, and I agree strongly with those choices.
Even after discovering what it was supposed to mean, for me carbon footprint still brings to mind the image of a trail of footprints in the coal dust in a coal yard.
Icon (so spelt) was skunked by Apple computers, who began using it for the little symbols on a computer screen about 25 years ago, so I have long used the spelling ikon for the real thing. A conservative blog for peace notes :
Just because a writer recognizes something does not make it an icon (a visual symbol or representation which inspires worship or veneration) or iconic. It just means that the writer has seen it before.
Other terms noted as being misused were maverick and bail out. Some, however, had escaped my notice, like monkey and staycation.