Banished Word List Has Tons of Impactful Entries

Lake Superior State University just released it’s annual list of “banished” words and phrases.

This year, there’s a lot to unpack.

The 43rd edition of the list, as the 42 that preceded it, includes words and phrases deemed overused, misused, or generally useless by word-watchers from all over the world. For the 2018 version, the editors have chosen the following for banishment (with reasons for inclusion):

  • Unpack—Misused word for analyze, consider, or assess.
  • Tons—An exaggerated quantity, as in “tons of work”.
  • Dish—To gossip or talk about someone (editors say dishes should be left in the cupboard).
  • Pre-owned—A euphemism for “used”.
  • Onboarding/Offboarding—Office jargon for “hiring” and “firing”.
  • Nothingburger—Says nothing that “nothing” doesn’t already say.
  • Let That Sink In—(Too) often follows something the speaker thinks you should think is important.
  • Impactful—A word groping for something “effective” or “Influential.”
  • Let Me Ask You This—Useless, just ask the question.
  • Covfefe—An impulsive typo that first appeared on Twitter and took on a life of its own.
  • Drill Down—As in “drilling down” on a topic instead of expanding on it.
  • Fake News—Overused term to describe news/facts which one disbelieves or refuses to accept as true.
  • Hot Water Heater—From the Department of Redundancy Department.
  • Gig Economy—Euphemism for “odd jobs”.

LSSU spokesman John Shibley says about 900 words and phrases since the first one was introduced on Jan. 1, 1976. 


Image credit: Lake Superior State University

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