The Atlantic presents An A-to-Z Guide to 2012′s Worst Words
Every year is chock-full of words, and we have feelings about those words. We live with them, we love them, we let them roll around in our mouths, and we express them. We think about them and spit them out, vehemently, when we are angry. We grow tired of them, we dislike some on sight, and we drop them, eventually, and move on to hate others. Many times, we use the same words year after year, and sometimes, we rail on those words (see our continued excoriation of poor oldmoist. What did moist ever do to any of us?). There are words, phrases, and coinages that end up marking each year—some old, some new. There are the long-existing words that have shifted in meaning, or become popularized because of a public usage, like malarkey, as invoked by Joe Biden in his vice presidential debate with Paul Ryan in the fall. And there are the ones we create, like Romneyshambles, or mansplain. Or maybe the coinage enters our consciousness because of a news story, event, or person (fiscal cliff, Kony). However we meet them, we use them in all sorts of ways, and there are also all sorts of ways in which we can dislike them: their sound, what they remind us of, what they make us think, their actual meaning, their overuse, their descent into meaninglessness, and so on.
What’s a word you hope to never hear in the new year?