Insight & Analysis

The ten words ‘banished’ for 2023

Published: Jan 2023

Lake Superior State University has chosen the ten words it found were most “misused, overused and useless” in 2022 and forbidden people from using them at all for the next 12 months!

Whatever you might think about this, the university based in Michigan in the US has added a number of words and phrases to a ‘banished’ list.

Each year for over 45 years, Lake Superior State University produces a list of words that are to be banned for the full incoming year and to date over 1,000 everyday terms and words have made it onto the list – some more than once!

This year, sees GOAT (the acronym for greatest of all time), top the poll.

Also included were…

  • Inflection point
  • Gaslighting
  • Quiet quitting
  • Moving forward
  • Amazing
  • Absolutely
  • Does that make sense?
  • Irregardless
  • It is what it is

For its 2023 list, Lake Superior State University judges reviewed more than 1,500 submissions before reaching their top ten.

A university spokesperson said, of the number one nominee, GOAT: “The many nominators didn’t have to be physicists or grammarians to determine the literal impossibility and technical vagueness of this wannabe superlative. Yet, it’s bestowed on everyone from Olympic gold medallists to Jeopardy champions.”

Words and terms banned in 2022 included “no worries”, “you’re on mute,” and “wait, what?” and other words banner over the years have been “vis-a-vis”, “information superhighway” and “I’m like”.

The university has copyrighted the concept of its ‘banished words list’ 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”.

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