"Millennium," "e-anything," and "thinking outside the box" are on a list of overused words and phrases deserving banishment from everyday English, a Midwestern university said in its annual diatribe against tiresome cliches.
The banned words list, to be released today, was inaugurated in 1976 by a public relations expert hoping to attract attention to obscure Lake Superior State University. It seeks to torpedo hackneyed phrases and misused words.
Several critics complained that too many graduation speeches, advertisements and conversations are peppered with the increasingly irritating, if timely, "millennium."
The techno-world might never be the same without "e-commerce" and its hyphenated variations denoting business and just about anything else done on the Web. But that would be fine with Emma Sams of Sault Ste. Marie, who said, "E-nough is e-nough."
Politicians and their speechwriters may be at a loss without some favored cliches, including "thinking outside the box," which many wished would die an unnatural death as a corny substitute for creative thinking.