Word Nerd: 19 Words Banned in 2017 For Misuse, Over-Use and General Uselessness

2 Jan

In our Word Nerd blogs last year, we’ve talked about words to use, as well as how and why. For 2017, we start by sharing a list of words that ought to be banned, according to popular opinion.

Words banned from use in LSSU's annual list

Words banned from use in LSSU’s annual list

Every year, since 1976, the Lake Superior State University has been publishing the “List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness”.
The list is culled from submissions to the university’s website.

Now in its 42nd edition, the list has a strong political flavor, thanks to last year’s nerve-racking US elections.

The 19 words on this year’s list are as below:

  • You, Sir – The phrase has come down from the age of fights unto the death to the age of the internet. And it seems ridiculous.
  • Focus – Maybe too much focus on ‘focus’ tired readers and listeners.
  • Bete Noire – Sounds too fancy-pants for a synonym of bugbear.
  • Town Hall Meeting – Candidates seldom debate in town halls. And the origin of the usage is remote from modern memory. Banned.
  • Post-Truth – There was post-modern, post-partum and post-colonial, now there’s post-truth. As the LSSU website says, “To paraphrase the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, we are entitled to our own opinions but not to our own facts.”
  • Guesstimate – Don’t guess and/or estimate say enough on their own? These words annoy us too.
  • 831 – 8 letters, 3 words, 1 meaning (I love you). Abbreviating love. Well, you’re certainly making the Shakespeare & company look like chumps for not using that to say how they felt. Or not.
  • Historic – Again to quote the LSSU website, “What’s considered as such is best left to historians rather than the contemporary media.”
  • Manicured – In the context of lawns only.
  • Echo Chamber – This is a metaphorical description of ideas being reinforced through repetition. Sounds like news then?
  • On Fleek – Anything on-point. Like nails, or eyebrows. Let’s not call our PPTs that, please.
  • Bigly – In the 19th century, this word meant “in a swelling, blustering manner.” That’s how it was said, if it is what was said.
  • Ghost – To disappear on social media. Don’t do that, it’s not nice.
  • Dadbod – The opposite of a Greek God, body-wise.
  • Listicle – Love it or hate it, you can’t escape it.
  • “Get your dandruff up” – A malapropism. To get your dander up means to lose your temper.
  • Selfie drone – As if selfies weren’t enough.
  • Frankenfruit – A category of frankenfoods, which are Genetically Modified Foods. Another word inspired by a literary character.
  • Disruption – We’re so sick of hearing the word that we prefer corruption.

Any word that annoys you bigly? Feel free to leave a comment below or email us!

Read previous #WordNerd posts here.


By Skendha Singh

No comments yet

Leave a Reply