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“Spoiler Alert”, “Fiscal Cliff” Banned For Life

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(NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

(NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

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cheap eats 300x225aa Spoiler Alert, Fiscal Cliff Banned For Life

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As we bid adieu to 2012 and say ‘howdy’ to 2013, it’s time to take a look at this year’s List of Words to be Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness.

The annual list is compiled by northern Michigan’s Lake Superior State University which bases its decisions on nominations submitted from the United States, Canada and beyond.

“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.

At the risk of further offense, here’s another spoiler alert: The phrase which received 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 that economists say could harm the economy in the new year without congressional action.

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

Other terms coming in for a literary lashing are “superfood,” ”guru,” ”job creators” and “double down.”

University spokesman Tom Pink said that in nearly four decades, the Sault Ste. Marie school has “banished” around 900 words or phrases, and somehow the whole idea has survived rapidly advancing technology and diminishing attention spans.

Nominations used to come by mail, then fax and via the school’s website, he said. Now most come through the university’s Facebook page. That’s fitting, since social media has helped accelerate the life cycle of certain words and phrases, such as this year’s entry “YOLO” — “you only live once.”

“The list surprises me in one way or another every year, and the same way every year: I’m always surprised how people still like it, love it,” he said.

Rounding out the list are “job creators/creation,” ”boneless wings” and “passion/passionate.” Those who nominated the last one say they are tired of hearing about a company’s “passion” as a substitute for providing a service or product for money.

As usual, the etymological exercise — or exorcise — only goes so far. Past lists haven’t eradicated “viral,” “amazing,” ”LOL” or “man cave” from everyday use.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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