Daily catch-up: helming the Banned List, I proscribe some more words and phrases

(Not that sort of helm.) Plus a few other bits and pieces

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I have fallen behind in my duties to maintain the Banned List, my dictionary of prohibited clichés and jargon.

The book is available for just £4.67 on Kindle. I have published updates erratically on Independent Blogs and on Independent Voices since 2011, but I have kept miscreants guessing by refusing to compile them all in one place.

Anyway, the time has come to add another 10 words and phrases to the Banned List:

Helm as a verb. Thanks to Kevin Fredericks, the Independent’s sub-editing supremo, who has issued an internal circular.

Drinkery. Eatery is already on the Banned List, but Fredericks alerts me to a new horror that is upon us.

Foodie. And I seem to have left out foodies.

Powerhouse. Nominated by Michael Crick.

Apartheid for things that aren’t apartheid. Nominated by Ed West in a job lot nearly a year ago but I’ve only just got round to it. 

Othered, othering. Ed West.

Social cleansing. Also nominated by Ed West, but a usage to which I have long objected. I think it is tasteless to compare cuts in housing benefit to ethnic cleansing, the semi-genocide practised by Slobodan Milosevic in former Yugoslavia. The phrase was first used by Jeremy Corbyn.

Surface, transitive verb, as used by Twitter. Nominated by Martin McDonald.

Sync. As in, “sync up” or “Fassbender latest name synced to biopic”, Guardian. Thanks to Della Mirandola.

Towards a… Or, “In which I…” Nominated by Tom Doran.

In other news, the Queen becomes the longest-serving British monarch today and I pay tribute in The Independent. If I could point out that the reason I didn’t know they were the Sex Pistols was that they were playing as The Spots, which, 38 years later, I discover stood for Sex Pistols On Tour Secretly.

• And finally, thanks to Moose Allain for this:

“Just been informed that my son’s school currently has an acting head of school. I have to say, she was very convincing.”

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