Thursday, January 5, 2017

Lake Superior State University's 42nd Annual List of Banished Words

Lake Superior State University's 42nd Annual List of Banished Words

The wordsmiths at Lake Superior State University have taken their best "guesstimate" and released LSSU's 42nd annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness.

"Overused words and phrases are a 'bête noire' for thousands of users of the 'manicured' Queen's English," said an LSSU spokesperson, who released the 'historic' list during a town hall meeting. "We hope our modest 'listicle' will figure 'bigly' in most 'echo chambers' around the world."

LSSU's word banishment tradition is now in its fifth decade, and was started by the late W. T. Rabe, a public relations director at Lake Superior State University.

And now, the 2017 list (5 of 19):

You, Sir - Hails from a more civilized era when duels were the likely outcome of disagreements. Today, we suffer on-line trolls and Internet shaming.

Focus - Good word, but overused when concentrate or look at would work fine.  See 1983's banishment of, We Must Focus Our Attention.

Bête Noire - After consulting a listing of synonyms, we gather this to be a bugbear, pet peeve, bug-boo, pain, or pest to our nominators.

Town Hall Meeting - Candidates seldom debate in town halls anymore. Needs to be shown the door along with "soccer mom(s)" and "Joe Sixpack" (banned in 1997).

Post-Truth - To paraphrase the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, we are entitled to our own opinions but not to our own facts.

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. Though he and his friends created the first list from their own pet peeves about language, Rabe said he knew from the volume of mail he received in the following weeks that the group would have no shortage of words and phrases from which to choose for 1977. Since then, the list has consisted entirely of nominations received from around the world throughout the year.

Through the years, LSSU has received tens of thousands of nominations for the list, which now includes more than 800 entries. This year's list is culled from nominations received mostly through the university's website, lssu.edu/banished. Word-watchers target pet peeves from everyday speech, as well as from the news, fields of education, technology, advertising, politics and more. A committee makes a final cut in late December.  READ MORE @

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