Each year, we uncover examples of appalling public language, from political doublespeak and marketing jargon to bad business buzzwords. We compile the biggest offenders in our December Worst words list.
Noxious Frankenword 'Brangelexit' topped our 2016 list. Combining Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's celebrity moniker 'Brangelina' with the recent 'Brexit' vote, this elevates a celebrity divorce to the level of a major world event.
In a particularly bad year for corporate spin doctoring, 'possible emissions non-compliance' topped our 2015 list. Volkswagen’s CEO used this phrase to describe what was actually cheating when regulators tested how much pollution its cars emit.
Not so English, 2SER radio
The worst words, phrases and spin of 2015, ABC The Drum
'Conscious uncoupling' were 2014's worst words, after Gwyneth Paltrow used them to announce her separation from husband Chris Martin.
When KFC chose 'goodification' as the slogan for its marketing campaign, we had to choose it as our worst word of 2012 (along with its cringe-worthy cousins - 'gooderer', 'goodest' and 'goodify').
2011 was a banner year for corporate evasion and euphemistic spin, with 'fugitive emissions' (more commonly known as pollution) topping our list.
'Chillax' on 'negative good' words, The Logan Reporter
2010 was filled with Manglish and gobbledygook, but we couldn't get past 'moving forward' as our worst words of the year. Julia Gillard repeated this slogan more than 20 times when she announced the federal election.
'Moving forward' voted 2010's most annoying phrase, news.com.au
Anderson: time for plain English, Adelaide Now
Survive the language jungle
Need to ideate some impactful solutions? Try our suitspeak jargon generator, or read Shakespeare and Wordsworth in the language of today. Then find out if your colleagues are following our guide to writing officialese!
For more fun with language, get your copy of Modern Manglish, by Neil James and Harold Scruby, with illustrations by Alan Moir. Navigate linguistic traps for the unwary, from sports talk to fancy-pants job titles.