Other words and phrases from 2012 coming under fire were "kick the can down the road" – "I would definitely like to kick some cans of the human variety every time I hear politicians use this phrase to describe a circumstance that hasn't gone their way," wrote Christine Tomassini from Michigan – and the over-used "double down".
The increasing use of "passion" and "passionate" to refer to enthusiasms meant the words also found their way into the list. "Seared tuna will taste like dust swept from a station platform – until it's cooked passionately. Apparently, it's insufficient to do it ably, with skill, commitment or finesse. Passionate, begone!" said Andrew Foyle from Bristol. "Please, let's hope you mean 'enthusiasm'," added Oregon's Michael Smith. "'Passion' connotes 'unbridled', unmediated by reason and sound judgment. Passion is the stuff of Ahab, Hitler and chauvinists of every stripe, and terrorists."
The Twitter acronym YOLO (you only live once) is also set for culling – "Who lives more than once?" enquired one bemused nominator – as are "bucket list", "superfood" and "trending".
The list has been running since 1975, when former Lake Superior State University public relations director Bill Rabe and his colleagues came up with the idea of choosing overused words they would banish from the English language. These days, nominations are sent in by readers, with a committee picking the final selection – and crossing their fingers that the world will take note of their choices, which last year included "baby bump", "man cave" and "amazing".