Rip these words from the headlines

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By: Greg Mitchell

Every year at this time, the good folks at Lake Superior State University provide a journalistic service by taking nominations from around the world for its List of Words Banished for overuse, misuse, or general uselessness.

This year, from a record 5,000 nominations, winners (or is that losers?) included such words and phrases as “bling-bling,” “smoking gun,” “ripped from the headlines,” “punked,” “embedded journalist,” and “sanitary landfill.”

Concerning “metrosexual,” one nominator wrote, “Aren’t there enough words to describe men who spend too much time in front of the mirror?” Another fellow said he was waiting for the arrival of “Shock and Awe” laundry soap. Orin Hargraves of Westminster, Md., noted that the use of “hand-crafted latte” was an insult to generations of true craftsmen.

Perhaps most poignantly, Bill Lodholz of Davis, Calif., observed: “The news keeps stating that Saddam Hussein was ‘captured alive.’ Well, what other way are you going to be captured?”

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