my favorite annual list

Lake Superior State University’s 43rd Annual List Of Banished Words: List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness is my favorite list. This year, it even made it to NBC Nightly News.

The list:
Unpack – Misused word for analyze, consider, assess. Concepts or positions are not packed, so they don’t need to be unpacked.

Tons – Refers to an exaggerated quantity, as in tons of sunshine or tons of work. ‘Lots’ would surely suffice.

Dish – As in to dish out the latest rumor on someone. Let’s go back to ‘talks about’ and leave dishes in the cupboard.

Pre-owned – What is so disgraceful about owning a used car now and then?

Onboarding / Offboarding – Creature from the HR Lagoon. We used to have hiring, training and orientation. Now we need to have an “onboarding” process. Firings, quitting, and retirements are streamlined into “offboarding.”

Nothingburger – Says nothing that ‘nothing’ doesn’t already. I’ll take a quarter-pound of something in mine.

Let that sink in – One could say shocking, profound, or important. Let that sink in.

Let me ask you this – Wholly unnecessary statement. Just ask the question already.

Impactful – A frivolous word groping for something ‘effective’ or ‘influential.’

Covfefe – An impulsive typo, born into a 140-character universe, somehow missed by the autocorrect feature.

Drill Down – Instead of expanding on a statement, we “drill down on it.”

Fake News – Once upon a time stories could be empirically disproved. Now ‘fake news’ is any story you disagree with.

Hot Water Heater – Hot water does not need to be heated. ‘Water heater’ or ‘hot water maker’ will keep us out of hot water.

Gig Economy – Gigs are for musicians and stand-up comedians. Now expanded to imply a sense of freedom and a lifestyle that rejects tradition in a changing economic culture. Runs a risk of sharecropping.

I submitted a word, finally, that drives me crazy when I hear or read it: circle back. Usually some form of business-speak used instead of tabling a topic. I cannot figure out why it’s okay to go in circles, which is generally considered a negative activity.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/02/18 at 03:32 PM

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