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Thursday, August 20, 2009

A List of Banned Words

Carl Zimmer is teaching a course on science writing. Here's a picture of his classroom.

It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it.

Carl has banned certain words and phrases and he posted the list on his blog: The Index of Banned Words. We can all agree that "breakthrough" and "paradigm shift" must be on the list. What about the others? Share your opinion on The Loom.

I'd like to add "Darwinism," "cancer" (unless the article is actually about cancer), and "revolutionary."


  1. As I posted at Discover:

    How about anything commonly used in post-modernist discourse (including “discourse”?) The objective of writing, especially scientific writing, should be communication of methods and findings. If you’re trying to obfuscate the dearth of information with excess and pretentious verbiage (/snark), maybe you should spend more time on your research than trying to baffle your readers with bovine excrement.