A Michigan university has just published its 38th annual list of words and phrases that are used so much that they should be banished.

It must be noted, however, it would be difficult to discuss current events without them!

Ever hear of the expression “jumped the shark?”

It’s basically a phrase that means something that was once cool and hip has become outdated and tired. It originates from an episode of “Happy Days” in which the Fonz jumped over sharks on water skis, a low point for the show and the beginning of its end.

For the last 38 years, Lake Superior State University has taken it upon itself to let Americans know when certain words and phrases have reached that mark, jumped the shark – so to speak.

Keeping with tradition, the campus recently released its annual “List of Banished Words” for 2013.

“The list, compiled from nominations sent to LSSU throughout the year …dates back to Dec. 31, 1975, when … some colleagues cooked up the whimsical idea to banish overused words and phrases from the language,” campus officials stated. “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 now includes more than 800 entries, campus officials say. Here’s this year’s additions:

FISCAL CLIFF: As one might expect, this phrase received the most nominations this year. …

“You can’t turn on the news without hearing this. I’m equally worried about the River of Debt and Mountain of Despair.” — Christopher Loiselle, Midland, Mich.


“Stands for ‘You Only Live Once’ and used by wannabe Twitter philosophers who think they’ve uncovered a deep secret of life. Also used as an excuse to do really stupid things, such as streaking at a baseball game with YOLO printed on one’s chest. I only live once, so I’d prefer to be able to do it without ever seeing YOLO again.” — Brendan Cotter, Grosse Pte. Park, Mich.


“Used as an obnoxious way to show one has trivial information and is about to use it, no matter what.” — Joseph Joly, Fremont, Calif.


“A trend is something temporary, thank goodness; however, it is not a verb, and I’m tired of news stations telling me what trite ‘news’ is ‘trending.’” — Kyle Melton, White Lake, Mich.


“It’s food. It’s either healthful or it’s not. There is no ‘super’ involved. — Jason Hansen, Frederic, Mich.


“Can we just call them chicken (pieces)?” — John McNamara, Lansing, Mich.


“Unless you’re teaching transcendental meditation, Hinduism or Buddhism, please don’t call yourself a guru just because you think you’re an expert at something. It’s silly and pretentious. Let other people call you that, if they must.” — Mitch Devine, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.

Also included: