Monthly Archives: January 2015

Listicle — what is it?



While listening to a podcast recently, the word listicle was used.  This word is not familiar to me, so I thought I would investigate and share with the readers of

It appears that the definition of listicle is–an article on the Internet presented in the form of a numbered or bullet-pointed list.

One definition states that a listicle is an article made up of a series of facts, tips, quotations or examples.

In journalism and blogging, a listicle is a short-form of writing that uses a list as its thematic structure, but is fleshed out with sufficient copy to be published as an article.  Examples include “10 ways to do….”, or “The six best ……”.

The above examples are of ranked listicles.  A judgment is made on their order of importance. (Think David Letterman’s Top Ten List)

Other listicles include thematic where no value is assigned.  Closely related to thematic listicles is the random listicle.  In this list, the reader decides on a ranking, if any.

Listicle is a portmanteau derived from list and article.


Acrost or across — how to you get there?

acrost vs across





Is it Acrost or across?

Each part of the United States has some sort of accent along with terms unique to their area. I grew up in Iowa, living there for 18 years, but we do not have much of an accent.

There are some words that we mispronounce or at least say differently than the rest of the world.  One that my wife (a Coloradoan) corrects me on is “acrost.”   Apparently, the word is across. As in across the street not acrost the street.

Now, thanks to the blog, I know why I say speak this way.  The Iowan calls it speaking Iowish.   I like being an Iowishman better than my late father-in-law’s term Iowweigen.

The Iowan website says using acrost is more common in speech than in writing.  I agree.  It goes on to say that cites the Dictionary of American Regional English in reporting that a 1759 Massachusetts document contained the sentence “Ye enemy fird at our men a Crost ye River.”

At any rate, I am trying to speak proper English and say across instead of acrost.

Next time, this Iowishman will look at the word “wash.”   It seems there in no R in it. Hmmm.

Banished words — prior years

banished-words-historyThe other day, I posted the latest list of words that need to be banished from the English language.

In doing some research, I found words from prior years that were nominated for banishment.  Some of you never got the memo, it seems.

Every year, Lake Superior State University,[1][2] The BBC, New York Times, Time,[3] and other institutions, publish lists of overused words and phrases that they would like to see banned, retired, and avoided. Listed below are some of their selections.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Every year, Lake Superior State University,[1][2] The BBCNew York TimesTime,[3] and other institutions, publish lists of overused words and phrases that they would like to see banned, retired, and avoided. Listed below are some of their selections.

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Man spread — what the heck is it?

Man spread? Really!manspread-a definition

This is a new term, and is not made up.

Here is the definition of man spread or man-spread:

when men take up too much room on the subway by spreading their legs in a wide v shape.  Also, dangling your legs to take up extra space while seated on public transit or draping your legs across multiple seats.

I seldom ride public transit so I did not know this was a major problem but it is in large cities.  Apparently, an average chair is 17.5 inches wide, and this is home much space one should occupy on a bus or subway.

Some people are taking up more than their allotted space.  This can also be called bench hogging.

In Philadelphia signs on their transit system read “Dude it’s rude . . . Two seats — really?”  The New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) just launched an etiquette ad campaign that includes cartoon posters of a spread-eagled transit rider that says “Dude . . . Stop the Spread, Please. It’s a space issue.”

Who knew?


Banned words — 2014 edition

banished-word-listI ran across this on Facebook.  The Lake Superior State University has their 40th Annual list of banished words.  That is banished, not banned.

I like the list, and may take the time to go back and see previous year’s lists.

Here is the article from


Lake Superior State University’s 40th Annual List of Banished Words

The tradition created by the late W. T. Rabe, former public relations director at Lake Superior State University, begins its fifth decade with this year’s annual List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness.

Rabe and fellow LSSU faculty and staff came up with the first list of words and phrases that people love to hate at a New Year’s Eve party in 1975, publishing it on Jan. 1, 1976. Though he and his friends created the first list from their own pet peeves about language, Rabe said he knew from the volume of mail he received in the following weeks that the group would have no shortage of words and phrases from which to choose for 1977. Since then, the list has consisted entirely of nominations received from around the world throughout the year.

Through the years, LSSU has received tens of thousands of nominations for the list, which now includes more than 800 entries. This year’s list is culled from nominations received mostly through theuniversity’s website. Word-watchers target pet peeves from everyday speech, as well as from the news, fields of education, technology, advertising, politics and more. A committee makes a final cut in late December.

Though other groups and organizations have compiled similar lists over the years – some of which bear some remarkable similarities and contain some of the same words and phrases – none have outlasted LSSU’s list.

Here’s a look at some of what was bugging word-watchers over the past year.

(View / Add comments on our Banished Words Facebook page)


One of the top nominees.

“Meaning ‘before anyone else.’ How stupid! Stop calling your boyfriend ‘bae’.” — Evie Dunagan, Manheim, Penn.

“It’s overused. I heard someone refer to their ramen noodles as ‘bae’! If I was putting someone ‘before anything else,’ I would respect them enough to use their name.”  — S. Thoms, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

“The most annoying term of affection to show up in years. Also, the concept ‘before anybody else,’ developed AFTER the word became popular. Reason enough for it to be banned. – Blan Wright, Sugar Hill, Ga.

“A dumb, annoying word.”  — James Becker, Holly, Mich.

“I’d rather be called ‘babe’ than ‘bae’ any day.” — Alexsis Outwater, Bronson, Mich.


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