Are you a thought leader trying to grapple with the optics of ghosting someone on various social media platforms?
If that sentence sounded a little, well, overwrought, it’s probably because the words in bold are a bit overused.
At least that’s what Lake Superior State University in Michigan says. The school in Sault Ste. Marie puts out a list every year of words that should be “banished from the Queen’s English” for being overused, misused or just plain useless.
Thought leader, grapple, optics, ghosting and platform all made the 2019 list, which ran heavy on words from the world of politics – a natural result in the age of Trump. POTUS, FLOTUS, SCOTUS, litigate, collusion and the phrase, “most important election of our time,” should also be banned from our daily usage, according to the list.
LSSU, which has put out its list for 44 years, gets thousands of submissions on a university web site and on Facebook. (The school calls people who submit words for the list “word-watchers, which sounds like the kind of word that ought to be banished. But I digress.)
“Word-watchers target pet peeves from everyday speech, as well as from the news, fields of education, technology, advertising, politics and more,” the school said on its website. A final cut is made by an editor in late December.
So what some of are the other words or phrases that you should think twice about using this year? (For a full list, click here.) Here they are, along with their definitions and the reasons why the “word-watchers” want them gone:
Definition: A pilothouse; a place containing the steering wheel, compass, and navigating equipment; the center of control or leadership (as in an organization); an area that matches a person’s skills or expertise.
Why it should be banished: “It’s an awkward word to use in the 21st century. Most people have never seen a wheelhouse.”
Wrap my head around
Definition: To comprehend something that one considers challenging or confusing.
Why it should be banished: “Impossible to do and makes no sense.”
Definition: As in to throw or toss vigorously
Why it should be banished: “If I hear one more freshman say “yeet,” I might just yeet myself out a window.”
Definition: To avoid habitually, especially on moral or practical grounds.
Why it should be banished: “Nobody ever actually says this word out loud, they just write it for filler.”
Definition: Being intoxicated to the point that mental and physical faculties are noticeably impaired.
Why it should be banished: “You’re a little tipsy, that’s all. That’s legally drunk. People who are ticketed for drunk driving are actually ‘illegally drunk,’ and we should say so.”
Definition: Additional items of dress or equipment, or other items carried or worn by a person or used for a particular activity.
Why it should be banished: “Hard to spell, not specific, and anachronistic when ‘accessories’ will do.”