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2010's list of the most annoying phrases

December 23, 2010 17:23 IST

The Plain English Foundation drew up a list of annoying words and phrases for 2010. And yes Palin's 'refudiate' made the cut too!

The term 'Moving forward' has made the top of The Plain English Foundation's inaugural list of annoying words and phrases for 2010.

Labor's catch-cry from the federal election has been voted the most annoying phrase, and it beat hundreds of pieces of jargon, spin and obfuscation on the list like, 'thought shower', 'maggoted' and 'disintermediate'.

Executive director Neil James said the phrase was a narrow winner in a strong field but had to win because it showed the election had been driven 'more by focus-group research than political leadership'.

"Just when we thought this business cliché had dropped from use, Julia Gillard robotically repeated the phrase more than 20 times during her announcement of the election," quoted James as saying.

The Plain English Foundation was founded in 2003 to lobby for better use of public language and to provide consulting services to businesses and government.

The list includes US politician Sarah Palin's non-word 'refudiate', which was also named 2010 Word of the year by the Oxford American Dictionary.

Palin first used the 'word' during a television appearance where she demanded US President Barack Obama 'refudiate' claims the Tea Party movement was racist.

James said he was bemused by claims made by the dictionary's editors that it was 'an unquestionable buzzword in 2010' and that it 'more or less (stood)

on its own'.

"I think the good people at Oxford can be a little too permissive sometimes. It's not a word and we wouldn't want it to become a word," he added.

Other worst words and phrases of 2010 are:

Great big new tax
Boring, repetitive and redundant, Tony Abbott's slogan was the tautology of 2010.

Strategic staircase
The new business cliché that looks set to replace "forward plan"; it means a plan.

Removal pathway
A phrase first coined by Senator Christopher Evans is essentially a euphemism for deportation.

Investment in human capital
Opposition spokesperson for the status of women Sharman Stone created this when talking about Liberal's paid parental leave scheme: "Well, we don't call it a tax, we're calling it an investment in human capital." It's a tax, but maybe not a great, big, new one.

Thought shower
Want to brainstorm some ideas? Employers in the UK now ask staff to take "thought showers" instead because "brainstorm" might be offensive to people with epilepsy.

"Ambient" sausage rolls
Deserves a mention for weirdness. Simply means the sausage rolls in question can be consumed at room temperature.

Other offenders: Flexibilize, Agonistic respect, Maggoted, Disintermediate.

Source: ANI