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Worst words and phrases of 2020

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WORST WORDS AND PHRASES OF 2020

VERTICAL CONSUMPTION

* When South Australia announced it would allow people to drink in bars while standing up, the SA government described it as "vertical consumption".

DISCRETIONARY ESSENTIALS

* This oxymoron of the year emerged from the retail sector and refers to spending on "discretionary essentials" for home renovations and office supplies.

ZUMPING

* Dumping a romantic partner on Zoom.

SHE-SESSION

* This word was invented by someone to describe how the COVID-19 recession is disproportionately impacting women.

* HIPSTURBIA

* A real estate sector-driven word that describes suburbs that attract 'hip' residents.

A MAGNETIC AND EUPHONIC BUILDING

* The real estate sector also generated the mixed metaphor of the year: "A magnetic building both lyrical and euphonic, driven by pizzazz and charm".

WITHDRAWN AS A MATTER OF PRIORITY

* Need to stop a wild animal from harassing people? Make sure it is "withdrawn as a matter of priority". That means kill it.

SENSITIVE RECEIVERS

* A tunnel construction project described how its noise abatement was "designed to minimise noise and vibration impacts on sensitive receivers" - that is, homes, schools and hospitals.

REVERSE PORK BARELLING

* Former federal minister Bridget McKenzie defended her decision to allocate sports grant money to projects in marginal seats as "reverse pork-barrelling". She also reversed her cabinet spot.

EFFORTING OUTREACH

* White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany explained President Trump was trying to contact the family of a police shooting victim by saying: "We are efforting outreach".

HEALTH DICTATORSHIPS

* Former Australian PM Tony Abbott railed against so-called COVID-19 "health dictatorships" when Victoria imposed restrictions while battling a second wave outbreak.

APOLOGISED FOR THE DISTRESS THE EVENT CAUSED

* A Rio Tinto executive was recorded commenting on the destruction of two 46,000-year-old landmarks in the Juukan Gorge, saying: "We haven't apologised for the event itself, per se, but apologised for the distress the event caused".

SOURCE: Annual list of the worst words and phrases, compiled by Australia's Plain English Foundation.

© AAP 2020