On New Year’s Eve, Lake Superior State University released its 43nd annual “List of Words Banished From the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness.” The university collects nominations all year on a Facebook page and releases the words to honor the new year. Some of the previously-banned words include as curate, hack, takeaway, skill set, polar vortex, enhanced interrogation, friendraising, foodie and swag.
Here is the 2018 list and the reasons given by the university:
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. (Leslie’s favorite phrase is shit-ton and I will continue to use it!)
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.
Shakespeare was a vocabulary wizard. In addition to single-handedly adding 3,000 words to the English language, his word choice was so precise that, throughout his works, he was able to use 7,000 different words exactly once and never again. That’s more words than in the entire King James Bible.
A recent trend is giving the new year a theme word which will represent your focus in all aspects of your life. The idea of choosing one year to sum up a theme seems both daunting and thrilling at the same time. How can one word encompass all of the things you hope to be, do, and accomplish in a full year? (amotherworld.com) In 2014, my word was flourish – a time to see my business grow and expand. In 2015, I couldn’t choose one word so I opted for three theme words for the year. In 2016, my word was nurture; I felt that I had the foundation for my career, and new relationships formed, that it was time to nurture them. In 2017, my word was manifest; working to make my dreams materialize.
Fox News suggests that your word be COURAGE. “Courage is refined, renewed and revealed in ordinary everyday living. Courage is never the preserve of the heroes or the powerful. The choice to choose courage for daily living is life-altering. Here is what’s fascinating about courage: The root word for courage is cor – it is also the Latin root word for heart. An early meaning of courage was the capacity to speak about everything on your heart by speaking your mind. In other words, courageous people speak their minds in a heartfelt way; to be heartfelt about life is to be courageous enough to speak your mind. There is a ying and yang to choosing courage.”
Real Clear Politics suggests ENOUGH. Amotherworld.com suggests CLARITY, COURAGE and CELEBRATION. The Intentional Moms blog suggests GENTLENESS. Other suggestions: PURPOSE, REST, YES, SLOW.
What’s your word for 2018?