Webster's New World® College Dictionary, April Fools' Day 2008 Best of the Worst in Current English

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A common complaint of word snobs and word lovers, the "death of the English language" is not a likely complaint of contemporary dictionary editors. But at Webster's New World College Dictionary, April Fools' Day is a fine time to indulge in a good off-duty rant -- a yearly tongue-in-cheek exercise for the dictionary's editors. Here are the best of the worst from this year's contenders.

A common complaint of word snobs and word lovers, the "death of the English language" is not a likely complaint of contemporary dictionary editors. But at Webster's New World College Dictionary, April Fools' Day is a fine time to indulge in a good off-duty rant -- a yearly tongue-in-cheek exercise for the dictionary's editors. Here are the best of the worst from this year's contenders:

Most irksome euphemism: issue. We used to have problems; now we have issues (or concerns).

Worst replacement for good old "yes" or "I agree": absolutely (runner up: definitely).

Ugliest two words in contemporary English: like and go. "And she goes, 'I couldn't believe it!' and I'm like, 'You didn't know?'"

Most cheapened cherished word: awesome.

Worst unnecessary lead-in: I mean. If you didn't mean it, you wouldn't be saying it!

Most infuriating idiocy in news headlines: neck in neck, seen in the New York Times, the Akron Beacon-Journal, and too many other journalistic sources.

Worst orthographic innovation: the cutesy-poo, middle school infatuation with stunt spelling, which began as early as Mötley Crüe, progressed to phat, and continues downward with boyz.

Worst grammatical abuse: the present progressive: i'm lovin' it, without a capital, without a period, the idiocy reduced to its essentials. Well, McDonald's thought it so fine that they took out a trademark on it.

There! We feel better already. We'll go back to being nonjudgmental now.

Good dictionaries are committed to describing, not prescribing, the language. Nevertheless, they do provide informative and instructive glosses and guides for word usage. And leading the pack in this area is Webster's New World College Dictionary. Selected by the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and other
leading newspapers as their official dictionary of choice, Webster's New World College Dictionary represents the finest linguistic scholarship. For more information on this year's April Fool choices and the process behind the art of dictionary-making, Webster's New World Editor in Chief Mike Agnes is available for interviews.

Please visit http://www.webstersnewworld.com for more of the English language at its best.

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Susie Dempsey
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