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Hunkered down to guard against the cold, Lake Superior State University curled up with their favorite designer breed, and vowed to git 'r done, that is to come up with their 30th annual list of the most annoying phrases used in America.

"Hunkered down", "designer breed", "breaking news" and "git r done", all made the list of phrases that the University says should be banned from the American lexicon. Without a doubt, anyone caught uttering such garbage deserves to be taken out back and sedated, but I couldn't find the full list. Since I am unprepared to roll up my sleeves and hunker down to give 110-percent and go the extra mile to produce the Herculean effort to find the whole list, I'll just sit back and make up my own list of phrases I'd like to see gone.

"Judicial Activist" (see also "legislating from the bench"). A phrase mostly used by the right, who see judicial activists as those judges who do not rule the way they like, though mostly it means "pro-choice". The left's version of "judicial activist" is "wingnut", or possibly "Scalia", to be read as "favors restrictions on abortion".

"Ownership society". Fortunately, the use of the phrase "ownership society" has abated since George W. Bush traveled the country to promote his plan for the privatization of Social Security, when, with each time the president discussed the plan, enthusiasm for it dropped precipitously. Really, "ownership society" was just code words for "you're on your own, because we who own everything (the ownership society) could care less about a safety net for the less fortunate."

"Out with a knee". There's about a million phrases that sports announcers latch onto with all their might, like "competitor", "one of the true good guys in the game", and "one of those things that makes you remember it's just a game", but this one is fairly new. No longer are players unable to play because of injury, but are said to be "out with a knee". I picture the player curled up on the sofa, body part by his side, rendered useless by his deep love for the body part. Personally, I never go out without my knee, so I can't understand why going out with one would make you unable to play.

"Paris Hilton". (see also "Nick and Jessica", "Brad and Angelina"). At least the parenthetical examples possess some semi-legitimate claim to fame, but there is nothing that Paris Hilton brings to society, unless you enjoy homemade porn tapes or watching her die in "The House of Wax". Then again, watching her get a stake through her head was about the only thing worth watching in "The House of Wax".

"Slippery Slope". A true example of a bi-partisan effort at beating a phrase to death. A slippery slope is something on which you ski. Gay marriage is not a slippery slope leading to man-dog marriage, nor is the existence of George W. Bush a slippery slope to a totalitarian society.

"President George W. Bush". I simply cringe every time I hear these words spoken. I can't come up with one positive development for my country in the five years he's been in office. Besides, every left-winger knows that Bush is leading us on a slippery slope to a totalitarian society.

Bill Rudick refuses to "wrap himself in the flag", and would like to see some sort of "timetable for an exit strategy from Iraq", and not just "talking points". Rudick's email is brudick@epix.net

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