10 “Banished Words” for 2021

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The annual banished words list from Lake Superior State University (LSSU) has been released. As expected, it’s mostly COVID-related.

LSSU first created the list in 1976 as a publicity ploy for little-known LSSU. The list gained popularity and it’s been going strong ever since, collecting nominations of words and phrases to be purged from the language.

“It should surprise no one that this year’s list was dominated by words and terms related to COVID-19,” said Peter Szatmary, executive director of marketing and communications in a release. “LSSU’s Banished Words List has reflected signs of the times since debuting in the mid-1970s, and the zeitgeist this year is: We’re all in this together by banishing expressions like ‘We’re all in this together.’ To be sure, COVID-19 is unprecedented in wreaking havoc and destroying lives. But so is the overreliance on ‘unprecedented’ to frame things, so it has to go, too.

2021″Banished” Words/Phrases

  1. COVID-19 (COVID, coronavirus, Rona)
  2. Social distancing
  3. We’re all in this together
  4. In an abundance of caution (various phrasings)
  5. In these uncertain times (various phrasings)
  6. Pivot
  7. Unprecedented

2021 Banished Words and Terms Not About COVID-19:

8. Karen

9. Sus- shortened version of suspicious

10. I know, right?

For more about the Banished Words List and to nominate a word or term for banishment for 2022, go online to lssu.edu/banishedwords.


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