Let's Break Internet With List of Banished Words

January 4, 2016

Every New Year's Eve, Lake Superior State University releases a list for the following year of words and phrases that need to be eliminated. People nominate words all year long. For 2016, the List of Words Banished From the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness includes:

  • Conversation. "Online publications invite us to 'join the conversation,' which is usually more of a scream-fest," says the announcement list. (Confession: Inside Higher Ed is among the online publications that use that language.)
  • Problematic: “A corporate-academic weasel word,” according to the Urban Dictionary entry cited by the university.
  • Stakeholder: The university explains that this "word that has expanded from describing someone who may actually have a stake in a situation or problem, now being overused in business to describe customers and others."
  • Break the Internet: Lake Superior calls this "a phrase that is annoying online word watchers around the world."
  • Manspreading: The university quotes one of those who nominated the word as saying that "men don't need another disgusting-sounding word thrown into the vocabulary to describe something they do …. You're just taking too much room on this train seat -- be a little more polite."
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