Words from 2016 that should be ‘banned’ for misuse, according to university’s list
MICHIGAN — Lake Superior State issued its 42nd annual list of “banned words” that wordsmiths from the university believe should be banished from the Queen’s English for misuse, overuse, or general uselessness.
“Overused words and phrases are a ‘bête noire’ for thousands of users of the ‘manicured’ Queen’s English,” said an LSSU spokesperson on the university’s website. “We hope our modest ‘listicle’ will figure ‘bigly’ in most ‘echo chambers’ around the world.”
According to the university, the banned word list is now in its fifth decade after it was born from conversation at a New Year’s Eve party in 1975, and published on Jan. 1, 1976 by the school’s public relations director. Now people can nominate words for consideration on the university’s website, inspired by pet peeves, the news, advertising, and more.
Here are a selection of some words that made the list:
- You, Sir – A civilized term that they say doesn’t work in the age of Internet comment debates .
- Post-Truth – Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.
- Guesstimate – A guess is already an estimate.
- Historic – The university says the determination should be left up to historians, not the news media.
- On Fleek – The university thinks use of the term has strayed too far from its original reference to perfectly-groomed eyebrows.
- Bigly – This pronunciation of “big league” by president-elect Donald Trump also made Merriam Webster’s list of the 10 worst words of the year.
- Ghost – Whether it’s the word itself, or the practice of fading out communication that upset people who nominated the term, is unclear.
- Listicle – Yes, they recognize the irony of including the term for “top x” lists on this list.