Notes From Our Online Readers

Readers add to CJR's own "Words We Shouldn't Say" list

When New York Times Magazine editor Hugo Lindgren posted a list of “words we don’t say” to the magazine’s 6th Floor blog (cribbed from Kurt Andersen’s list when he was editor of New York), we were prompted to ask in our May 24th News Meeting feature on, Which words would our readers add to Lindgren’s list? Here’s a sampling of responses:

“Transparency,” “strongman” (for a foreign politician that the US doesn’t like), “cutting edge,” “World Wide Web.” —Reading Out There

“Game changer.” —Here Come the Innovators!

“Robust,” “love child,” “illegitimate,” “adult conversation” (when used “ironically” by political morons) and, please God, “iconic.” —Steve Daley

“Paradigm.” Please let this word die a horrible death. —Carol Ott

“Canoodling.” —Amy K.

Any traffic reference: Crossroads, juncture, intersection, turning point. —Justin

-gate. —arturner

“At the end of the day,” “street smarts” (which marks the writer as an urban provincial); in fact, any lazy use of ‘smarts’ to mean intelligence. —Mark Richard

“Going forward,” which increasingly, in the temporal sense, is finding its way into “serious” reporting. Aargh!! “Substantive” in place of “substantial.” —M. D. Champ

“The other side (and ‘both sides’) of the aisle.” —Ron Moss

“Tipping point,” “going forward,” “bloviate,” “underwater,” “impact” (as a verb), “walking something back,” “throwing people under the bus,” not SICing childish Republican misuse of the word Democrat. —David Benson

“In the coming days and weeks” or “the coming weeks and months.” Really? Also, “really?” —Dov Jacobson

“Hit the ground running.” —Jim Smith

“Closure!” —beth

“Tapped” for “chosen” or “selected.” —Molly

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The Editors are the staffers of Columbia Journalism Review.