Annual List of Words and Phrases to Banish

January 2, 2019

Lake Superior State University has released its 43rd annual List of Words Banished From the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness.

Here is the 2019 list, and some of the reasons cited by those who nominated the words:

  • Wheelhouse, as in area of expertise. “It's not in my wheelhouse to explain why dreadful words should be banished."
  • In the books, as in finished or concluded. “It seems everyone's holiday party is in the books this year, and it's all there for friends to view on social media, along with the photos of the happy party attendees.”
  • Wrap my head around. “Impossible to do and makes no sense.”
  • Platform. “People use it as an excuse to rant. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter have become platforms. Even athletes call a post-game interview a ‘platform.’ Step down from the platform, already.”
  • Collusion. “We all need to collude on getting rid of this word.”
  • OTUS family of acronyms such as POTUS, FLOTUS, SCOTUS. “Overused useless word for the president, Supreme Court, first lady.”
  • Ghosting. “Somebody doesn't want to talk with you. Get over it. No need to bring the paranormal into the equation.”
  • Yeet, as in to vigorously throw or toss. “If I hear one more freshman say 'yeet,' I might just yeet myself out a window.”
  • Litigate. “Originally meant to take a claim or dispute to a law court … appropriated by politicians and journalists for any matter of controversy in the public sphere.”
  • Grapple. “People who struggle with ideas and issues now grapple with them. I prefer to grapple with a wrestler or an overgrown tree. "
  • Eschew. “Nobody ever actually says this word out loud, they just write it for filler.”
  • Crusty. “This has become a popular insult. It's disgusting and sounds weird. Make the madness stop.”
  • Optics. “The trendy way to say ‘appearance.’”
  • Legally drunk. “You're a little tipsy, that's all. That's legally drunk. People who are ticketed for drunk driving are actually ‘illegally drunk,’ and we should say so.”
  • Thought leader. “Thoughts aren’t ranked or scored. How can someone hold a thought-lead, much less even lead by thought?”
  • Importantly. “Totally unnecessary when ‘important’ is sufficient. ‘More importantly’ (banned in 1992) apparently sounds more important but is also senseless.”
  • Accoutrements. “Hard to spell, not specific, and anachronistic when ‘accessories’ will do.”
  • Most important election of our time. “Not that we haven’t had six or seven back-to-back most important elections of our time.”

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