sexta-feira, 31 de dezembro de 2010

Op-Ed Contributor - Google Translate vs. the Humans - NYTimes.com

Excerpt:
The target sentence supplied by Google Translate is not and must never be mistaken for the “correct translation.” That’s not just because no such thing as a “correct translation” really exists. It’s also because Google Translate gives only an expression consisting of the most probable equivalent phrases as computed by its analysis of an astronomically large set of paired sentences trawled from the Web.
The data comes in large part from the documentation of international organizations. Thousands of human translators working for the United Nations and the European Union and so forth have spent millions of hours producing precisely those pairings that Google Translate is now able to cherry-pick. The human translations have to come first for Google Translate to have anything to work with.
Op-Ed Contributor - Google Translate vs. the Humans - NYTimes.com

sábado, 25 de dezembro de 2010

Translating Operas Into English Requires Tradeoffs

"Translating librettos is a time-honored practice that takes enormous skill. It’s not like translating “Madame Bovary” into English, which is hard enough. A translation of an opera libretto must fit exactly the rhythm, bounce and flow of the existing melodic lines, which the composer matched to the words of the original language. Libretto translators are forced to play fast and loose with the meaning of the original text to render an equivalent in performable English."

Read article here:
Translating Operas Into English Requires Tradeoffs - NYTimes.com

Book Review - 'My Prizes' and 'Prose' by Thomas Bernhard - NYTimes.com

Book Review - 'My Prizes' and 'Prose' by Thomas Bernhard - NYTimes.com

quinta-feira, 4 de novembro de 2010

50 office-speak phrases you love to hate

Management speak - don't you just hate it? Emphatically yes, judging by readers' responses to writer Lucy Kellaway's campaign against office jargon. Here, we list 50 of the best worst examples.

1. "When I worked for Verizon, I found the phrase going forward to be more sinister than annoying. When used by my boss - sorry, "team leader" - it was understood to mean that the topic of conversation was at an end and not be discussed again."
Nima Nassefat, Vancouver, Canada

2. "My employers (top half of FTSE 100) recently informed staff that we are no longer allowed to use the phrase brain storm because it might have negative connotations associated with fits. We must now take idea showers. I think that says it all really."
Anonymous, England

3. At my old company (a US multinational), anyone involved with a particular product was encouraged to be a product evangelist. And software users these days, so we hear, want to be platform atheists so that their computers will run programs from any manufacturer."
Philip Lattimore, Thailand

4. "Incentivise is the one that does it for me."
Karl Thomas, Perth, Scotland

5. "My favourite which I hear from the managers at the bank I work for is let's touch base about that offline. I think it means have a private chat but I am still not sure."
Gemma, Wolverhampton, England

6. "Have you ever heard the term loop back which means go back to an associate and deal with them?"
Scott Reed, Lakeland, Florida, US

7-8. "We used to collect the jargon used in a list and award the person with the most at the end of the year. The winner was a client manager with the classic you can't turn a tanker around with a speed boat change. What? Second was we need a holistic, cradle-to-grave approach, whatever that is."
Turner, Manchester

9. "Until recently I had to suffer working for a manager who used phrases such as the idiotic I've got you in my radar in her speech, letters and e-mails. Once, when I mentioned problems with the phone system, she screamed 'NO! You don't have problems, you have challenges'. At which point I almost lost the will to live."
Stephen Gradwick, Liverpool

10. "You can add challenge to the list. Problems are no longer considered problems, they have morphed into challenges."
Irene MacIntyre, Courtenay, B

11. "Business speak even supersedes itself and does so with silliness, the shorthand for quick win is now low hanging fruit."
Paul, Formby, UK

12. "And looking under the bonnet."
Eve Russell, Edinburgh

13-14. "The business-speak that I abhor is pre-prepare and forward planning. Is there any other kind of preparedness or planning?"
Edward Creswick, Exeter

15-16. "The one that really gets me is pre-plan - there is no such thing. Either you plan or you don't. The new one which has got my goat is conversate, widely used to describe a conversation. I just wish people could learn to 'think outside the box' although when they put us in cubes what do they expect?"
Malcolm, Houston

17. "I work in one of those humble call centres for a bank. Apparently, what we're doing at the moment is sprinkling our magic along the way. It's a call centre, not Hogwarts."
Caroline Garlick, Ayrshire

18. "A pet hate is the utterly pointless expression in this space. So instead of the perfectly adequate 'how can I help?' it's 'how can I help in this space?' Or the classic I heard on Friday, 'How can we help our customers in this space going forward?' I think I may have caught this expression at source, as I've yet to hear it said outside my own working environment. So I'm on a personal crusade to stamp it out before it starts infecting other City institutions. Wish me luck in this space."
Colin, London

19. "The one phrase that inspires a rage in me is from the get-go."
Andy, Herts

20. "'Going forward' is only half the phrase that gets up my nose - all politicians seem to use the phrase go forward together. 'We must... we shall... let us now... go forward together'. It gives me a terrible mental image of the whole country linking arms and goose-stepping in unison, with the politicians out in front doing a straight-armed salute. Is it just me?"
Frances Smith, Toronto, Canada

21. "I am a financial journalist and am on a mission to remove words and phrases such as 360-degree thinking from existence."
Richard, London

22. "The latest that's stuck in my head is we are still optimistic things will feed through the sales and delivery pipeline (ie: we actually haven't sold anything to anyone yet but maybe we will one day)."
Alexander, Southampton

23. "I worked in PR for many years and often heard the most ludicrous phrases uttered by CEOs and marketing managers. One of the best was, we'd better not let the grass grow too long on this one. To this day it still echoes in my ears and I giggle to myself whenever I think about it. I can't help but think insecure business people use such phrases to cover up their inability for proper articulation."
Leon Reilly, Ealing, London

24. "Need to get all my ducks in a row now - before the five-year-olds wake up."
Mark Dixon, Bridgend

25. "Australians have started to use auspice as a verb. Instead of saying, 'under the auspices of...', some people now say things like, it was auspiced by..."
Martin Pooley, Marrickville, Australia

26. "My favourite: we've got our fingers down the throat of the organisation of that nodule. Translation = Er, no, WE sorted out the problems to cover your backside."
Theo de Bray, Kettering, UK

27. "The health service in Wales is filled with managers who use this type of language as a substitute for original thought. At meetings we play health-speak bingo; counting the key words lightens the tedium of meetings - including, most recently, my door is open on this issue. What does that mean?"
Edwin Pottle, Llandudno

28-29. "The business phrase I find most irritating is close of play, which is only slightly worse than actioning something."
Ellie, London

30. "Here in the US we have the cringe-worthy and also in addition. Then there's the ever-eloquent 'where are we at?' So far, I haven't noticed the UK's at the end of the day prefacing much over here; thank heavens for small mercies."
Eithne B, Chicago, US

31. "The expression that drives me nuts is 110%, usually said to express passion/commitment/support by people who are not very good at maths. This has created something of a cliche-inflation, where people are now saying 120%, 200%, or if you are really REALLY committed, 500%. I remember once the then-chancellor Gordon Brown saying he was 101% behind Tony Blair, to which people reacted 'What? Only 101?'"
Ricardo Molina, London, UK

32. "My least favourite business-speak term is not enough bandwidth. When an employee used this term to refuse an additional assignment, I realised I was completely 'out of the loop'."
April, Berkeley, US

33. "I once had a boss who said, 'You can't have your cake and eat it, so you have to step up to the plate and face the music.' It was in that moment I knew I had to resign before somebody got badly hurt by a pencil."
Tim, Durban

34. "Capture your colleagues - make sure everyone attends that risk management workshop (compulsory common sense training for idiots)."
Anglowelsh, UK

35-37. "We too used to have daily paradigm shifts, now we have stakeholders who must come to the party or be left out, or whatever."
Barry Hicks, Cape Town, RSA

38. "I have taken to playing buzzword bingo when in meetings. It certainly makes it more entertaining when I am feeding it back (or should that be cascading) at work."
Ian Everett, Bolton

39. "In my work environment it's all cascading at the moment. What they really mean is to communicate or disseminate information, usually downwards. What they don't seem to appreciate is that it sounds like we're being wee'd on. Which we usually are."
LMD, London

40. "At a large media company where I once worked, the head of human resources - itself a weaselly neologism for personnel - told us that she would be cascading down new information to staff. What she meant was she was going to send them a memo. It was one of the reasons I resigned - that, and the fact that the chief exec persisted on referring to the company as a really cool train set."
Andrew, London

41. "Working for an American corporation, this year's favourite word seems to be granularity, meaning detail. As in 'down to that level of granularity'."
Chris Daniel, Anaco, Venezuela

42. "On the wall of our office we have a large signed certificate, signed by all the senior management team, in which they solemnly promise to leverage their talents, display and inspire 'unyielding integrity', and lots of other pretentious buzz-phrases like that. Clueless, the lot of them."
Chris K, Cheltenham UK

43. "After a reduction in workforce, my university department sent this notice out to confused campus customers: 'Thank you for your note. We are assessing and mitigating immediate impacts, and developing a high-level overview to help frame the conversation with our customers and key stakeholders. We intend to start that process within the week. In the meantime, please continue to raise specific concerns or questions about projects with my office via the Transition Support Center..."
Charles R, Seattle, Washington, US

44. "I was told I'd be living the values from now on by my employers at a conference the other week. Here's some modern language for them - meh. A shame as I strongly believe in much of what my employers aim to do. I refuse to adopt the voluntary sectors' client title of 'service user'. How is someone who won't so much as open the door to me using my service? Another case of using four syllables where one would do."
Upscaled Blue-Sky thinker, Cardiff

45. "Business talk 2.0 is maddening, meaningless, patronising and I despise it."
Doug, London

46. "Lately I've come across the strategic staircase. What on earth is this? I'll tell you; it's office speak for a bit of a plan for the future. It's not moving on but moving up. How strategic can a staircase really be? A lot I suppose, if you want to get to the top without climbing over all your colleagues."
Peter Walters, Cheadle Hulme, UK

47. "When a stock market is down why must we be told it is in negative territory?"
Phil Linehan, Mexico City, Mexico

48. "The particular phrase I love to hate is drill down, which handily can be used either as an adverb/verb combo or as a compound noun, ie: 'the next level drill-down', sometimes even in the same sentence - a nice bit of multi-tasking."
B, London

49. "Thanks for the impactful article; I especially appreciated the level of granularity. A high altitude view often misses the siloed thinking typical of most businesses. Absent any scheme for incentivitising clear speech, however, I'm afraid we're stuck with biz-speak."
Timothy Denton, New York

50. "It wouldn't do the pinstripers any harm to crack a smile and say what they really felt once in a while instead of trotting out such clinical platitudes. Of course a group of them may need to workshop it first: Wouldn't want to wrongside the demographic."
Trick Cyclist, Tripoli, Libya

BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | 50 office-speak phrases you love to hate

EIAL, Vol. 21 - 1, "History and Translation in Latin America," ONLINE

Dear Colleagues,

I take pleasure in announcing that Vol. 21, No. 1 (2010) of "Estudios
Interdisciplinarios de América Latina y el Caribe" is now available
online. This monographic issue is devoted to "History and Translation in
Latin America" and was guest edited by Tal Goldfajn, Ori Preuss and
Rosalie Sitman.

The table of contents is listed below.

Please address all enquiries to <eial@post.tau.ac.il>.

You are cordially invited to visit EIAL's website at:
<http://www.tau.ac.il/eial/>

Best,

Dr Rosalie Sitman
EIAL, Co-editor


 EIAL 21-1 (enero-junio 2010)
 Historia y traducción en América Latina
Índice / Table of Contents

Introduction or Why Should Historians of Modern Latin America Take
Translation Seriously?
TAL GOLDFAJN, ORI PREUSS, ROSALIE
SITMAN........................
.................9
La pertinencia de los estudios históricos sobre traducción en Hispanoamérica
GEORGES L.
BASTIN.............................................................................17
Translation in History: Some Comments
PETER
BURKE...................................................................................29
Historia de la traducción e historia de la filosofía en México: Relatos y
metarrelatos
NAYELLI CASTRO
RAMÍREZ........................................................................33
Foundational Scenes of Translation
SERGIO
WAISMAN................................................................................53
Traducir la nación: Gregorio Weinberg y el racionalismo del pasado argentino
GUSTAVO
SORÁ..................................................................................77
Buscando un traductor: The Joys and Challenges of Translating
Alberto Flores Galindo
CHARLES F. WALKER
............................................................................101

RESEÑAS BIBLIOGRÁFICAS / BOOK REVIEWS

RICARDO D. SALVATORE: Los lugares del saber. Contextos locales
y redes transnacionales en la formación del conocimiento moderno.
Beatriz Viterbo Editora, 2007
Jean Franco................................................ 109
ARMANDO RAZO: Social Foundations of Limited Dictatorship:
Networks and Private Protection during Mexico’s Early
Industrialization. Stanford University Press, 2008
Mark Wasserman.......111
EDUARDO SÁENZ ROVNER: The Cuban Connection: Drug Trafficking,
Smuggling, and Gambling in Cuba from the 1920s to the Revolution.
Translated by Russ Davidson. The University of North Carolina Press, 2008
Reinaldo L.
Román....................................................................113
GILBERT M. JOSEPH and DANIELA SPENSER: In From the Cold:
Latin America’s New Encounter with the Cold War. Duke University
Press, 2008
Jason M.
Colby........................................................................115
JULIAN GO: American Empire and the Politics of Meaning. Duke
University Press, 2008
Frank Ninkovich....................................................117
LAURA GOTKOWITZ: A Revolution for Our Rights: Indigenous
Struggles for Land and Justice in Bolivia, 1880-1952. Duke University
Press, 2007
Robert L. Smale................................................... 120
DAVID COOK NOBLE and ALEXANDRA PARMA COOK: People of the
Volcano: Andean Counterpoint in the Colca Valley of Peru. Duke
University Press, 2007
Paulo Drinot.......................................................... 122
LISA YUN: The Coolie Speaks: Chinese Indentured Laborers and
African Slaves in Cuba. Temple University Press, 2008
Donna L.
Chollett..........................................................................
124
GINETTA E. B. CANDELARIO: Black Behind the Ears: Dominican
Racial Identity from Museums to Beauty Shops. Duke University Press, 2007
Robin
Derby.................................................................................127
ADRIENNE PINE: Working Hard, Drinking Hard: On Violence and
Survival in Honduras. University of California Press, 2008
Leah
Schmalzbauer...........................................................................130
LEIGH A. PAYNE: Unsettling Accounts: Neither Truth Nor
Reconciliation in Confessions of State Violence. Duke University Press, 2008
Marguerite
Feitlowitz...................................................................132
EMILIO CRENZEL: La historia política del Nunca Más. La memoria de
las desapariciones en la Argentina. Siglo XXI, 2008
Susana Draper...................................................... 134
MATTHEW M. TAYLOR: Judging Policy: Courts and Policy Reform
in Democratic Brazil. Stanford University Press, 2008
Andrew J.
Kirkendall.........................................................................136
ANTONIO VIEGO: Dead Subjects: Toward a Politics of Loss in Latino
Studies. Duke University Press, 2007
Louis Mendoza.............................. 138
LYNN STEPHEN: Transborder Lives: Indigenous Oaxacans in Mexico,
California, and Oregon. Duke University Press, 2007
David Griffith............................................141
THOMAS GLAVE (ed.): Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and
Gay Writing from the Antilles. Duke University Press, 2008
Eduardo
González..........................................................................143
GEOFFREY BAKER: Imposing Harmony. Music and Society in
Colonial Cuzco. Duke University Press, 2008
Asima F. X. Saad
Maura......................................................145
CHARLES F. WALKER: Shaky Colonialism: The 1746 Earthquake-
Tsunami in Lima, Peru, and Its Long Aftermath. Duke University Press,
2008
Kendall
Brown................................................................148
PATRICIA H. MARKS: Deconstructing Legitimacy: Viceroys,
Merchants, and the Military in Late Colonial Peru. Pennsylvania State
University Press, 2007
Anthony McFarlane.............................................. 150
DAVID CARRASCO (ed.): The History of the Conquest of New Spain
by Bernal Díaz del Castillo. University of New Mexico Press, 2008 –
Amos
Megged.............................................................................153
LAURA GIRAUDO (coord.): Ciudadanía y derechos indígenas en
América Latina: poblaciones, estados y orden internacional. Centro
de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales, 2007
Natan Lerner...................................................... 157
CARMEN McEVOY: Homo Politicus. Manuel Pardo, La Política
Peruana y Sus Dilemas, 1871-1878. Instituto Riva Aguero, Instituto de
Estudios Peruanos, y Oficina Nacional de Procesos Electorales, 2007 José R.
Deustua
C..........................................................................160
CLAUDIO BELINI y MARCELO ROUGIER: El Estado Empresario en la
Industria Argentina: Conformación y Crisis. Manantial, 2008 Darío
Rubinstein..........................................................................164
RAANAN REIN y CLAUDIO PANELLA (comps.): El retorno de Perón y
el peronismo en la visión de la prensa nacional y extranjera. Editorial
de la Universidad de La Plata, 2009
Silvia Álvarez.................................. 167
LEONARDO SENKMAN y SAÚL SOSNOWSKI: Fascismo y nazismo
en las letras argentinas. Editorial Lumiere, 2009
Adrián Ferrero..................................................... 171
FRANCES STEWART (ed.): Horizontal Inequalities and Conflict.
Understandig Group Violence in Multiethnic Societies. Palgrave
Macmillan, 2008
Luis Vázquez León........................................................ 173
NIELS BARMEYER: Developing Zapatista Autonomy. Conflict and
NGO Involvement in Rebel Chiapas. University of New Mexico Press,
2009
Luz del Rocío
Bermúdez............................................................176


Dr. Rosalie Sitman
Head of Division of Foreign Languages
Tel Aviv University
Tel.: +972-3-640 7846
Fax.: +972-3-640 9466

domingo, 3 de outubro de 2010

Op-Ed Contributor - Found in Translation - NYTimes.com


AS the author of “Las Horas,” “Die Stunden” and “De Uren” — ostensibly the Spanish, German and Dutch translations of my book “The Hours," but actually unique works in their own right — I’ve come to understand that all literature is a product of translation. That is, translation is not merely a job assigned to a translator expert in a foreign language, but a long, complex and even profound series of transformations that involve the writer and reader as well. “Translation” as a human act is, like so many human acts, a far more complicated proposition than it may initially seem to be.

Read the article in full here:

Op-Ed Contributor - Found in Translation - NYTimes.com

sábado, 20 de março de 2010

Talking about Translation

Yesterday I was talking to friends and fellow Brits who are also colleagues about the ups and downs of the translator's life (one observation struck me - a translator isn't just a ghost writer, he/she is a ghost!).  If you have any observations you'd like to share (in English, Spanish, French or Portuguese), please send them to me at sabrina (dot) gledhill (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll post them on this blog so we can start up a true forum for sharing ideas and experiences and perhaps even attenuate that sense of "ghostliness" we all seem to share.

                                                                                                      Sabrina

segunda-feira, 8 de março de 2010

Dancer who lost her leg in Haiti earthquake: "I want to dance again" - Times Online

Dancer who lost her leg in Haiti earthquake: "I want to dance againâ" - Times Online
 Excerpt:
As we spoke, a nurse came to change the dressing on her stump and she lent back on the mattress and breathed in sharply, her eyelids fluttering. Did she still hope to dance again? “Yes,” she said. “If it’s possible. But I don’t know if it is.”
How difficult would it be to live with this kind of disability in a country such as Haiti?
This was the question our translator could not stand.
“Don’t talk to her about these things!” he shouted, shaking his head at me. “Don’t talk to her about Haiti. They can do nothing for her here. Talk about something else. Please!” There was an awkward silence, in which I tried to think of something else to say. Then Jean started talking. “She says she wants to know if there is anything you can say or do to help her situation,” said our translator, resuming normal service once more.

sábado, 6 de março de 2010

Palestinian Sees Lesson Translating an Israeli’s Work - NYTimes.com

Palestinian Sees Lesson Translating an Israeli’s Work - NYTimes.com

Published: March 6, 2010
In memory of a son killed in a terrorist attack, a Palestinian lawyer paid for an Arabic translation of the autobiography of Israel’s most prominent author and dove, Amos Oz.

quinta-feira, 7 de janeiro de 2010

Breaking through the language barrier

By Matt Ford

(CNN) -- Communications technology has shrunk the globe, but there remains one large boundary to all this togetherness: language.
So far businesses can only spread as far and as fast as they can find people speaking a common tongue.
However, researchers at IBM may be about to punch a hole through this barrier.
The multinational currently has 100 staff working on an internal project named "n.Fluent" that offers instantaneous translation across a variety of platforms.
"We have a web page interface, where you type in a URL and it automatically translates the web page for you," Salim Roukos, chief technology officer for translation technologies at the company's T.J. Watson Laboratory in New York, told CNN.
"We also have an app that you can put on a web page and when users arrive... they can pull down a menu and change the language.
"The ability to translate URLs is something that our customers love a lot, because once you translate the page, you can click on all the links and suddenly you are exploring the foreign language web as an English speaker."
At the moment the software is still in development and only available with IBM, but the company's intention is to take the project to market. They are also developing versions for instant messaging and mobile devices.
Imagine if there was a tool built into the search engine which translated my search query into every language and then searched the entire world's websites.
--Marissa Mayer, Google
"n.Fluent" began in 2006 as one of 10 innovations sponsored by IBM's chairman Samuel J. Palmisano. The company decided that the language barrier was a key issue, both for global businesses and companies with clients worldwide and so resolved to find ways of addressing the problem.
"The core technology... is work in progress, but it is significantly advanced that for many languages we can do accurate translations," says Roukos.
But IBM is not the only tech giant convinced that language is the next barrier to be broken online, and Google are currently working on a tool that will translate not only web pages -- but web searches as well.
At the moment Google only searches English words on web pages when given an English-language query, but the company hopes soon to be able to open up sites of any language to users.
"Imagine what it would be like if there was a tool built into the search engine which translated my search query into every language and then searched the entire world's web sites," Google's vice president Marissa Mayer told the UK's Daily Telegraph newspaper recently.
"And then invoked the translation software a second and third time -- to not only then present the results in your native language, but then translated those sites in full when you clicked through."
Away from the Internet, NEC are hoping their new device, the Tele Scouter will mean conversations won't get lost in translation. Unveiled last November the device is a set of headsets and glasses that can automatically translate spoken words and display them on a tiny retinal display. Still a prototype, NEC believes it could be used by technicians to translate manuals.
Crowd-sourcing to greater understanding
Vernacular and jargon can be particularly problematic for translation software, so "n.Fluent" has been designed to learn from its mistakes and pick up specific terms used within IBM.
To do this the project has been opened up to all 400,000 staff working for IBM around the world, and uses this "crowd sourcing" to access their expertise to feedback on the project.
Over a two-week period in October last year IBM launched a "worldwide translation challenge" to its workforce, which resulted in two million words of text being translated. Incentives in the form of charitable donations and other prizes were offered to staff who took part.
"Every single interface has a pop-up window, so if you happen to be bilingual you can make corrections," David Lubensky, an IBM specialist in the "real-time" aspect of translation systems, told CNN.
"Many IBM-ers have more than one language, so we can get them to translate and use that to improve the quality."
IBM believes the technology will be particularly useful for companies that produce a large amount of support content, such as technical manuals. These tend to be dynamic, as new bug fixes are found or updates added, and they also need to be accessible to a multi-lingual customer.
Rapid, accurate translation of such literature published online can deflect calls from call centers, and bring significant savings.
Alternatively, when a company has its workforce spread across the world "n.Fluent" hopes to allow documents from a client that arrives in one language to be quickly assessed by a geographically dispersed team.
"So far we are much better at Spanish, French, Arabic and Portuguese," says Roukos.
"It's harder for languages like Japanese, Chinese, and Korean, but we're working on it.
"It's not only the sentence structure, but also how explicit the language is. There is a little bit more assumed from the context in Chinese and word order can change."
Although "crowd sourcing" has proved extremely effective for IBM during the development of "n.Fluent", there are still aspects of working remotely with huge numbers of people that can be improved.
"There are two challenges," says Lubensky. "Firstly, getting a sustainable, enthusiastic community can be difficult. The goal is to have an ongoing interest, to make it part of the fabric.
"The second issue is quality assurance of content; how useful is the feedback, how many mistakes do people make and how much impact will they have?"
Whoever wins the fight for market share, be it IBM, Google or others hoping to close the language divide, advanced translation software looks set to make a huge splash and businesses should get ready: it looks like the world may be about to shrink yet again.

sexta-feira, 1 de janeiro de 2010

"Banned" words for 2010 - "Obamanough already"

KANSAS CITY (Reuters) – If you recently tweeted about how you were chillaxin for the holiday, take note: Fifteen particularly over- or mis-used words and phrases have been declared "shovel-ready" to be "unfriended" by a U.S. university's annual list of terms that deserve to be banned.
After thousands of nominations of words and phrases commonly used in marketing, media, technology and elsewhere, wordsmiths at Lake Superior State University on Thursday issued their 35th annual list of words that they believe should be banned.
Tops on the Michigan university's list of useless phrases was "shovel-ready." The term refers to infrastructure projects that are ready to break ground and was popularly used to describe road, bridge and other construction projects fueled by stimulus funds from the Obama administration.
And speaking of stimulus, that word -- which was applied to government spending aimed at boosting the economy -- made the over-used category as well, along with an odd assortment of Obama-related constructions such as Obamacare and Obamanomics.
"We say Obamanough already," the LSSU committee said.
Also ripe for exile is "sexting," shorthand for sexy text messaging, a habit that has caused trouble this year for public figures from politicians to star athletes.
Similarly, list makers showed distaste for tweeting, retweeting and tweetaholics, lingo made popular by users of the popular Twitter networking website. And don't even get them started on the use of friend as a verb, as in: "He made me mad so I unfriended him on Facebook," an Internet social site.
Male acquaintances need to find another word than "bromance" for their friendships, and the combination of "chillin" and "relaxin'" into "chillaxin" was an easy pick for banishment.
VOTED OUT
Also making the list was "teachable moment."
"This phrase is used to describe everything from potty-training to politics. It's time to vote it out!" said one list contributor.
"Toxic assets," referring to financial instruments that have plunged in value, sickened list makers so much the phrase was added to the list, along with the tiresome and poorly defined "too big to fail" which has often been invoked to describe wobbly U.S. banks.
Similarly, "in these economic times" was deemed overdue for banishment due.
Also making the list -- "transparent/transparency," typically used, contributors said, when the situation is anything but transparent.
One list contributor wanted to know if there was an "app," short-hand for "application" popularized by the mobile iPhone's growing array of software tools, for making that annoying word go away.
And rounding out the list -- "czar" as in car czar, drug czar, housing czar or banished word czar.
"Purging our language of 'toxic assets' is a 'stimulus' effort that's 'too big to fail,'" said a university spokesman.
(Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

See original article