banned-wordsLake Superior State University has released its annual list of words and phrases that it says should be banished in the new year.Every year the LSSU publish lists of overused words and phrases that they (their readers according to an online poll) would like to see banned, retired, and avoided. Listed below are some of their selections.

  1. so -“Currently, it is being overused as the first word in the answer to ANY question. For instance, “How did you learn to play the piano?” Answer: “So my dad was in a classical music club…” The word serves no purpose in the sentence.
  2.  conversation – “Over the past five years or so, this word has been increasingly used by talking heads on radio, television and in political circles to describe every form of verbal communication known to mankind. It has replaced ‘discussion,’ ‘debate,’ ‘chat,’ ‘discourse,’ ‘argument,’ ‘lecture,’ ‘talk’….all of which can provide some context to the nature of the communication
  3.  problematic – Somewhere along the line, this word became a trendy replacement for ‘that is a problem.
  4.  stakeholder – A word that has expanded from describing someone who may actually have a stake in a situation or problem, now being over-used in business to describe customers and others.
  5. price point – Another example of using two words when one will do.
  6.  secret sauce – Usually used in a sentence explaining the ‘secret’ in excruciating public detail.
  7.  break the internet – A phrase that is annoying online word-watchers around the world.
  8.  walk it back – It seems as if every politician who makes a statement has to ‘walk it back,’ meaning retract the statement, or explain it in laborious detail to the extent that the statement no longer has any validity or meaning once it has been ‘walked back.
  9.  vape –Vape and vaping are used to describe the act of ‘smoking’ e-cigarettes (another strange word) since the products emit vapor instead of smoke. David Ervin of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., says he hopes the word “goes up in smoke.”
  10.  physicality – Over the last 12-18 months you cannot watch a sporting event, listen to a sports talk show on radio, or anything on ESPN without someone using this term to attempt to describe an athlete or a contest.
  11.  manspreading – A word that is familiar to those in bigger cities, where seats on the bus or subway are sometimes difficult to find.
  12. presser – This shortened form of “press release” and “press conference” is not so impressive.
  13. giving me life – declaring that something positive is “giving me life!”