I am proud to note a mark of distinction for this blog. It has been picked as an exemplar of the decline and fall of the English language. Not for its content or for the tortured phrasings employed in my posts, but for daring to use the word "webinar" in the title.
Yes, friends and neighbors, it's that time of year again... The attentions of the self-appointed word police have once more been turned to protecting America from the linguistic decay that threatens to destroy our great nation.
As you may have seen in numerous press stories (they eat this stuff up), Lake Superior State University has published its 33rd (!) annual "List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness." Never mind the fact that their criteria and examples have nothing to do with "Queen's English" (which is a difference in pronunciation, not usage or dialect)... apparently that particular misuse doesn't bother the team so much.
No, they felt it necessary to once again include the word "webinar" as useless and silly, perhaps forgetting that they already included it on their 2005 list. Nobody paid attention then either.
I have fought this battle before, as recently as September of 2007. But it gets new life from a community weblog called MetaFilter (apparently the use of "Meta" in front of any- and every- thing you can conceive does not make the list). Right up at the top of the page, the hyperlink attached to "webinar" is this self-same blog. And I even get an asterisk: "One of the requirements for a Banished Word or Phrase is that it has been used as a title for a Blogspot or Typepad blog." Wow... My apologies for not using WordPress. That would make my content much more legitimate. Oh, and by the way... "blog" was banished in 2005. You'd better keep that out of your writing.
Ho hum. Any list of made up words that says "truthiness" and "brunch" are fine, "webcast" gets a passing grade, and "Doh!" or "Eat my shorts" cause no consternation has no legitimacy in my book for calling down the powers that be on "webinar." Just because you don't personally like a coined or commonly used word does not mean I feel any hesitancy whatsoever in applying it where it is convenient, concise, and communicates my meaning. Do you dig, hepcat?