Forget resolutions about getting fit or stopping smoking. This year it’s all about banished words and not being plain useless when we talk to each other.
Have you been annoyed in 2015 by empty, hollow and meaningless words or phrases? If the answer is ‘yes’ then it turns out you’re not the only one. This isn’t our first foray into writing about words that should be avoided, which meant that we were thrilled to see a new compilation from Lake Superior State University with their 41st Annual List of Banished Words and Phrases.
The list is made up entirely of nominations received from around the world throughout the year, with many of the words or phrases happily bandied about in the business world as well as online or simply in daily language.
So here are our favourites (or should we say least favourites?), and in at number one we have…
A previously banished word in 1999 (“I am SO loving this list!”), but it’s being used differently today to begin sentences, particularly in response to a question. Can we agree here and now that we are at the point of an epidemic with ‘so’ and stop, now?
We are endlessly encouraged to “join the conversation,” often online where we can hide behind our keyboards, or to painstakingly elicit every single opinion before a decision is made to avoid the risk of offending anyone.
“A corporate-academic weasel word,” according to the Urban Dictionary and we’re inclined to agree.
A word that is now being over-used in business to describe absolutely anyone, other than describing someone who may actually have a stake in a situation or problem.
BREAK THE INTERNET
Remember Kim Kardashian’s photo from last year? No? Then you’re the lucky one. Meaning something that will have so much traffic that it will ‘break the Internet’. Maybe there are a few things that could break the Internet; Leonardo DiCaprio winning an Oscar, the 8th Harry Potter book being leaked online or Michael and Janet Jackson finally being revealed to be the same person, but they’re pretty few and far between.
WALK IT BACK
Meaning to explain in laborious detail or retract the statement.
GIVING ME LIFE
Similar to “This … is everything right now,” referring to anything that may excite a person or cause them to laugh. Can we just say it’s funny?
There you have it; some used at work and others we constantly see when scrolling through social media…we’re all guilty of using them at some point or another but can we resolve to put a stop to it in 2016 and just say what we mean?
P.S. We think they’ve missed out ‘epic’, ‘like’ (as in “I was, like, no way!”), and ‘everything’, so we’re, like, off to nominate them for the 2017 list because we loved the epic 2016 list, it was our everything.