Here it is, the list of words and phrases banished for 2017. No doubt you’ve looked forward to it for a year. Or maybe two, since I neglected to post it last year.
Lake Superior State University collects the words, submitted by readers throughout the year, and compiles a list of those most frequently nominated. Also on their website are all the previous years’ words. Some words/phrases are so disliked that they’ve appeared on several lists.
The next time you realize a particular word is really starting to annoy you, submit it to LSSU. Doing so will alleviate a bit of frustration (I speak from experience) and it might even show up on next year’s list.
“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.”
Banished for 2017:
- 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.
- Guesstimate – When guess and estimate are never enough.
- 831 – A texting encryption of, I love you: 8 letters, 3 words, 1 meaning. Never encrypt or abbreviate one’s love.
- Historic – Thrown around far too much. What’s considered as such is best left to historians rather than the contemporary media.
- Manicured – As in a manicured lawn. Golf greens are the closest grass comes to being manicured.
- Echo Chamber – Lather, rinse, and repeat. After a while, everything sounds the same.
- On Fleek – Anything that is on-point, perfectly executed, or looking good. Needs to return to its genesis: perfectly groomed eyebrows.
- Bigly – Did the candidate say “big league” or utter this 19th-Century word that means, in a swelling blustering manner? Who cares? Kick it out of the echo chamber!
- Ghost – To abruptly end communication, especially on social media. Is it rejection angst, or is this word really as overused as word-banishment nominators contend? Either way, our committee feels the pain.
- Dadbod – The flabby opposite of a chiseled-body male ideal. Should not empower dads to pursue a sedentary lifestyle.
- Listicle – Numbered or bulleted list created primarily to generate views on the Web, LSSU’s word-banishment list excluded.
- “Get your dandruff up . . . ” – The Committee is not sure why this malapropism got nominators’ dander up in 2016.
- Selfie Drone – In what could be an ominous development, the selfie – an irritating habit of constantly photographing and posting oneself to social media – is being handed off to a flying camera. How can this end badly?
- Frankenfruit – Another food group co-opted by “frankenfood.” Not to be confused with other forms of genetically modified language.
- Disruption – Nominators are exhausted from 2016’s disruption. When humanity looks back on zombie buzzwords, they will see disruption bumping into other overused synonyms for change.
*Word cloud created at www.wordl.net