Green Terminology Ends up on Banned List

A couple of environmental buzzwords top the Lake Superior State University’s 2009 List of Banished Words. In fact, one our favorite words here at GreenWorld365 is threatening to cause rebellion among word-lovers — green!

For some it’s all the green-washing that’s making them so angry. “If I see one more corporation declare itself ‘green,’ I’m going to start burning tires in my backyard,” says Ed Hardiman of Bristow, VA.

For others, it’s turning the word green into a verb that causes problems. All that talk about “greening the workplace” or “greening your technology” is enough to make them bristle.

The second word that has folks all a twitter is too much talk about Carbon Footprints and Carbon Offsetting.

Christy Loop from Woodbridge, VA, likens it to being “politically incorrect” in the 90s. “How can we not,” she wonders, “affect our natural environment?”

Truth is, Christy’s right, we do affect our environment whether we like to talk about it or not — whether we ban the words or put them on banners. So, even if we struggle over which terms to use, we need to continue having discussions about the environment and what we are doing to minimize any negative impact.

This is the 34th year that Lake Superior State University has released their annual List of Words to Be Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness. To see the complete list for 2009, along with quotes from the folks that nominated them, visit the LSSU website.

About Barbara Holbrook

Barbara lives in Southern California where she writes about technology, design and smart ways to go green.

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