Lake Superior State University’s 2012 List of Banished Words

Banned Sign

Banned SignAround this time last year, we took a look at the annual list of banned words published by Lake Superior State University. We saw the likes of “tweet“, “app“, “teachable moment“, “bromance“, and “friend” (as a verb) included in the list. To be honest, while I started out with the intention of observing whether or not I used the words in the list, I totally forgot all about it as the months of 2011 went by.

As we enter the second week of 2012, I find myself thinking of the list again. As I said in that post, there was (and is) absolutely no way I can stop using “tweet” and “app“. They’re part of my work! As for the other words in the list, I think I did use “bromance” several times, but only verbally.

Anyhow, there is a new list of banished words for this year, and now is a good time to take a look at it, don’t you think?

I don’t know if you expected this, but the word “amazing” made it to the top of the list. We all know what it means. We probably use it a lot. I know I do! Just to make it official, this is how Merriam-Webster defines the word: “causing amazement, great wonder, or surprise“. I suppose I understand why people nominated this word. While there are indeed a lot of amazing things in this life, people tend to overuse it, making the word less meaningful. Do you agree or not? As for me, I shall make it a point to use amazing only when something is really amazing.

The word “baby bump” made it to the second spot for this year’s list of banished words. I honestly do not get the reason for this, but maybe it is because I have never had one – a baby bump, that is. I have never had the difficult experience of carrying another human being inside me, which is one of the reasons people gave for wanting this term to be banished. Mommies out there, what is your take on this?

Unsurprisingly, “occupy” is on the list as well. I am not going into the political aspect of this word, but I do understand why people have gotten tired of it. What started out as a specific idea – to occupy Wall Street – has spread out to other, less meaningful things. A good example from someone who nominated the banishment of the word: “We are headed to Grandma’s house – Occupy Thanksgiving is under way.” (Bill Drewes, Rochester Hills, Michigan)

I also learned a new word from the list: “trickeration“. Apparently, it is not even in the dictionary!

Trickeration Definition
Trickeration: it doesn't exist!

Football fans will recognize the word, as it seems to have been coined by football analysts. If I get it correctly, “trickery” is what they mean when they use the word. Someone please assure me that this will not be included in dictionaries this year!

Here’s the complete 2012 list of banished words:

  1. Amazing
  2. Baby bump
  3. Shared sacrifice
  4. Occupy
  5. Blowback
  6. Man cave
  7. The new normal
  8. Pet parent
  9. Win the future
  10. Trickeration
  11. Ginormous
  12. Thank you in advance

Are you guilty of using some of these words in the way that the list describes? Are you going to observe the ban, or you simply couldn’t care less?

If you were to choose, what is the one word that you would ban in 2012? Why?

(Oh, and yes, the Grammar Guide section is back!)

Image via Anglicans Ablaze







9 responses
  1. Gloria Avatar

    I’m so glad they included the word “ginormous.” There is no such word! Either it’s gigantic or enormous. Both of those words work well to describe something really big! 🙂 I wish they’d include impactful too. It’s like nails on a chalkboard when I hear or read that one.

    1. Noemi Twigg Avatar
      Noemi Twigg

      Guilty as charged. :p

  2. James Tennant Avatar

    I used to love using the word Ginormous when I was a wee bairn. I’m a little upset by that one haha.

    1. Noemi Twigg Avatar
      Noemi Twigg

      Haha. I am with you on this, James.

  3. Erin Avatar

    I would nominate the word “knucklehead” for elimination forever! Especially in sports, and the use of “sexy” when describing a sports play. Annoying and inappropriate.

    1. Noemi Twigg Avatar
      Noemi Twigg

      I’m guilty of calling F1 cars sexy!

  4. Lacy Inherst Avatar
    Lacy Inherst

    In my family we have only 2 words that are banned: “hate and kill”. All other words are acceptable as long as they are used correctly.

  5. Lacy Inherst Avatar
    Lacy Inherst

    Cute article though. 🙂

  6. Kat Avatar

    The Charlie Sheen saga brought about the overuse of ‘winning!’ It appeared on numerous Facebook statuses, when friends bought shoes on sale. Or as a Twitter hashtag when someone had luck on their side. I really think it should have made it on the list!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.