Words to Ban in 2020

Lake Superior State issues annual list of words to avoid.

January 2, 2020
bortonia / iStock

Lake Superior State University has released its 45th annual List of Words Banished From the Queen’s English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness.

The word-banishment tradition, created by the late W. T. Rabe, former public relations director at Lake Superior State, is now in its fifth decade.

Rabe and fellow LSSU faculty and staff came up with the first list of words and phrases that people love to hate at a New Year’s Eve party in 1975, publishing it on Jan. 1, 1976.

This year’s list is culled from nominations received mostly through the university’s website.

The most nominated word or phrase for 2020 was quid pro quo.

Several word that made the list were "words that attempt to make something more than it is," Lake Superior State said. Among those on the list: artisanal, curated and influencer.

Other words or phrases were banished for "pretentiousness or imprecision." Among them were literally, I mean, living my best life and mouthfeel.

Millennials were blamed for other words on the list: chirp (except for birds), jelly (when an abbreviation of "jealous"), totes (for totally) and vibe or vibe check.

Last but not least: OK, Boomer.

An archive of words and phrases banished in prior years may be found here.


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