Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, released its annual “Banished Words List,” which includes 10 words they have determined should be banned for the new year for “overuse, misuse, or uselessness.”
However, some of the words may not be so easy to banish.
Topping the list is “COVID-19” along with variations of the word including COVID, coronavirus, and Rona.
In fact, many phrases that made it onto the list are related to the pandemic, such as “social distancing,” “we’re all in this together,” “in an abundance of caution,” “in these uncertain times,” “pivot,” and “unprecedented.”
Other words and phrases not related to the pandemic are also on the list including “Karen,” sus,” and “I know, right?” because of its redundancy.
According to a statement from the Banished Words List committee, “It should surprise no one that this year’s list was dominated by words and terms related to COVID-19.”
“To be sure, COVID-19 is unprecedented in wreaking havoc and destroying lives,” the statement continued. “But so is the overreliance on ‘unprecedented’ to frame things, so it has to go, too.”
Since 1976 LSSU has been releasing its annual “Banished Word List” as a way to “uphold, protect, and support excellence in language by encouraging avoidance of words and terms that are overworked, redundant, oxymoronic, clichéd, illogical, nonsensical—and otherwise ineffective, baffling, or irritating.”