Packer proposes:

When this is all over, certain half-dead words will need to be put out of their misery with a quick bullet to the back of the head. My candidates for a mercy verbicide: pivot, tank, cave, pushback, gravitas, message, game-changer, challenges, the entire litany of Palinesque nouns, attack dog, battleground, pork-barrel, earmark, impacting, and impactful. Other words that are too important to be executed will need to undergo a long and painful rehabilitation before they can be safely used again: change, experience, straight, truth, lie, victory, character, judgment, populist, and elite.

I have three candidates: Enhanced. Interrogation. Techniques.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to