Banished Words for 2011

Lake Superior State University released its 36th annual “List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness”.  The list is based on more than 1,000 submissions on their Web site.  The winners (losers?) include the Sarah Palin-coined word “refudiate” and the popular online terms “viral” and “fail.” 

LSSU’s complete list of words that should be banished is as follows:

  • Viral
  • Epic
  • Fail
  • Wow Factor
  • A-ha Moment
  • Back Story
  • BFF
  • Man Up
  • Refudiate
  • Mama Grizzlies
  • The American People
  • I’m Just Saying
  • Facebook/Google as verbs
  • Live life to the fullest

I’m not a fan of any of these but I had an a-ha moment when I realized that most of these aren’t words – they’re phrases.  Epic fail.

I’m just saying.

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6 Responses to Banished Words for 2011

  1. Craig S January 2, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

    Words (and phrases) I’d like to banish in 2011 include:
    1. “Ask” as a noun. Use “request” instead.
    2. Pain point
    3. Domain expertise
    4. “At the end of the day…”
    5. Hence (seems particularly overused and misused at my company)

  2. Holly January 2, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    I’m glad to see you man up on this topic.

    Personally, I’m keeping “I’m just saying…” because, usually, I am.

  3. Michael Mankowski January 3, 2011 at 6:27 am #

    My suggestion is to add the phrase “Bla Bla Bla….” and “Reorganization” to the banned words list.

  4. Vivek B January 3, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    Can we petition to keep “refudiate” and while we’re at it “strategery”, and “misunderestimate”?

  5. Melinda January 3, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    Technically, the actual phrase they should ban is: I’m just sayin. No “g.”

    Uber needs to be added to the list.

  6. Robert E January 10, 2011 at 7:54 am #

    The “word” I have found most misused and over-used to the point of making it useless:


    Although we shouldn’t ban the word, the business community would benefit if its usage denoted KEY performance indicators. Currently usage seems to imply that any and every number or metric that is (or needs to be) collected is a KPI.

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