If news continued to break while I was away, so too did crimes against the English language, which also demand my attention in my capacity as keeper of the Banned List. No, I do not “curate” it – one of my colleagues, on reading that someone had “curated a picnic” wanted to know if the word [...]
Far from being the authoritarian thought police it has been accused of being, the Banned List Committee is slow to act and tolerant in its judgments. Hashtags, selfies, artisan this and artisan that, hipsters and millennials were banned in The Independent on Sunday last month, but I forgot to add them to this blog’s running [...]
Tom Freeman has a wonderful long post on his blog about the American Civil War. The recent one about the use of “over” to mean “more than”. In the course of which he sets out the essential rule about usage:
If you have good reason to think that a significant number of your readers care about [...]
The League for the Defence of the English Language has been distracted by its attempt to promote the use of “whom” from its core mission of banning things. But the banning orders have been piling up in the in-tray and it is time we pinned some of them to the front door:
1 Demonise, to mean [...]
It was number 853 in my series of Questions To Which The Answer Is No, asked by The Economist
The imminent 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War requires an emergency ruling by the Banned List Committee. The Committee has also taken the chance to ban a further nine phrases. Hear ye.
1 It’ll all be over by Christmas, referring to the anniversary of the First World War. Except for references to [...]
The Commisariat has been falling behind in its illiberal duties, having failed to ban anything for a month. So hear ye.
1. Lies, Damned Lies and Something Else.
2. “Take”, as in “my take on David Cameron’s cat”. Thank you to petitioner David Mills.
3. “Goes to”, “speaks to”. Nigel Fletcher.
4. “Up close and personal.” Richard Tolbart. As [...]
The Banned List Foundation has been distracted by administrative business – brass plates, that sort of thing – and so has fallen behind in its core business of prohibiting things. Here is the next batch of 10:
“Red line.” Nominated by Patrick Inken. The origin of this phrase is a puzzle. The earliest use in the [...]
Hear ye, hear ye! Further additions to the Banned List, by order of the Lord Chief Justice of Twitter and Imperial Overlord of the Ethical Vacuum.
It is no use. I must scratch that itch: the itch to ban things. It is time to put another 10 logs on the fire; another 10 words or phrases on the Banned List.
“Push back.” Thank you to Adam Wagner for drawing this infection to the attention of the control unit.
“…in a globalised world.” Marek [...]
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