"Kicking the can down the road," "fiscal cliff," and "river of debt" are just some of the words and metaphors driving the general public to distraction, according to the "List of Banished Words" published by the Lake Superior State University (LSSU).
The list of 2013's "banished words," published every year by Michigan's smallest state university since 1976, is topped by economic buzzwords which have dominated the headlines.
After the months of inescapable media frenzy and speculation leading up to a New Year's deal, voters decided "fiscal cliff" was the most annoying catchphrase of the year.
"Continually referred to as 'the so-called fiscal cliff,' followed by a definition," Randal Baker of Seabeck, Wash., told the LSSU. "How many times do we need to hear 'fiscal cliff,' let alone its definition? Please let this phrase fall off of a real cliff!"
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"You can't turn on the news without hearing this. I'm equally worried about the River of Debt and Mountain of Despair," Christopher Loiselle from Midland, Mich., wrote. Donna in New York said the word "fiscal cliff" made her "want to throw someone over a real cliff."
Despite the U.S. House of Representatives voting through a Senate-backed bill to avert around $600 billion of spending cuts and tax hikes, the government has been accused of "kicking the can down the road" as it faces further budgetary wrangles and approaches its $16.4 trillion debt ceiling in February.
"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," Christine Tomassini from Livonia, Mich., told the LSSU.