Every year since 1975, Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, has published a "List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness." The 2008 list, edited from more than 2,000 nominations, represents "a perfect storm of overused and abused words and phrases that pops organic, to a post-9/11 world decimated by webinars."
In short: a list that "is what it is."
One of my pet peeves, wordsmithing, made the list this year. It's a word I frequently hear to describe the work I do--work I prefer to call writing. In my experience, wordsmith is always used by non-writers and always in a tone of condescension, the way dauber is used to describe an amateur artist. "Wordsmithing" implies "tinkering" and "I'd do it myself if I had the time, but I'm much too busy and important and highly paid to dirty my hands with manual labor."
A synonym, to tweak, also needs banishment.
And while we're at it, let's get rid of verbiage, too. I suspect that people who use "verbiage" instead of "language," "writing," or "text" think they're honoring the craft by giving it a hifalutin Latiny flourish. In fact, verbiage means "wordiness": Merriam-Webster's primary definition is "a profusion of words, usually of little or no content." (Verbiage comes to us from a Middle French word, verbier, meaning "to chatter.") I don't write verbiage. I write words, sentences, and paragraphs; headlines, taglines, and copy. You want verbiage, get yourself a Verb-o-Matic.
Update: Linguist Ben Zimmer, in a post on the Oxford University Press blog, takes aim at the inclusion of decimate on the list and notes: "In general, the list is most informative as a barometer of pet peeves about language: what is it that gets under people’s skin, so much so that they think words (or particularly disliked senses of words) should be removed from the lexicon forthwith?"
Related bonus link: The Los Angeles Times's list of "cringe-worthy turns of phrase that have been cluttering up the language in recent years," including community, existential threat, and metrics. (Hat tip: MJF.) Business-school types are forever using metrics to mean measurement or gauge. But to the average American reader or listener--trust me on this; I've asked around--metrics means "something they use in Europe instead of inches and pounds." Jargon is OK when you're absolutely certain your audience will understand it; when in doubt, use a simpler expression.