Sadly, poor little yolo's story is all too common, says Geoffrey Nunberg, a linguist who teaches at the University of California at Berkeley School of Information.
"These words that are often very effective and attractive have very short half-lives because everybody picks them up at once, and they lose their punch," says Nunberg, who calls this phenomenon the "nine-day wonder." "If the words even last nine days at all."
The list takes shots at serious words, too:
2. Fiscal cliff, a media term to describe expiring federal tax cuts and across-the-board government spending cuts which are set to become effective 12/31/2012
"Just once, I would like to hear it referred to as a financial crisis," wrote a nominator from Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Appropriately, her name is Barbara Cliff.
"Journalists always like cliffs," Nunberg jokes. "There's more pressure to use phrases like that, because if you soft peddle things, nobody's going to read the story."
Two other politically tinged phrases made the list.
3. Kick the can down the road, a metaphorical phrase that describes the concept of substituting a short-term fix in place of a final decision
4. Job creator/creators, a person or business directly responsible for adding employed workers to the economy
Words like "job creators," Nunberg says, represent an entire set of phrases that bubbled up during the 2012 presidential campaign. These words reflect recent changes in the way Americans talk about differing economic and social classes. "It's the '47%,' the 'moochers,' the 'makers and takers.'" These kinds of words, Nunberg suggests, fuel the fire of class warfare in American life.