National

'Viral,' 'epic' named to 2011 banished-word list

DETROIT — It's official: Viral went viral, and now it's been virtually vaporized.

Michigan's Lake Superior State University features the term linked to popular online video clips in its annual List of Words to Be Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness. The 2011 list was released Friday.

Nominators from across North America did more than vanquish "viral." They also repudiated Sarah Palin's "refudiate," flunked "fail" and weren't at all wowed by "wow factor." In all, 14 words or phrases made the cut to be, well, cut from conversation.

The call to banish viral was vociferous, garnering more nominations than any other.

Lake Superior State spokesman Tom Pink said it's among a few entries on the list sentenced to the dialectical dungeon that "have to do with the way we communicate these days." Another: Facebook or Google used as a verb.

Other entries showed people's apparent aversion to simple language, hence the call to "live life to the fullest" when they could just live, promoting every foible or stumble to "fail," or super-sizing every reasonably good time to an "epic" event.

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