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University Releases This Year's List Of 'Banned Words'

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University Releases This Year's List Of 'Banned Words'

The past 12 months has been a slog, to say the least, but aside from the global pandemic that has dominated our lives, the year has been made even worse by a number of words and phrases that have crept into our culture.

Well, the folks over at Lake Superior State University, Michigan, have released their annual list of terms that are to be banned from the English lexicon.

More than 1,450 phrases were nominated, but the top 10 was, unsurprisingly, dominated by coronavirus.

Number one on the list probably won't be much of a surprise to anyone: Covid-19 (Covid, Coronavirus, Rona), which the university says is due to nominators being 'resentful' of the damage the disease has caused.

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But they do point out that the 'list arrives as does a vaccine', so the 'committee hopes this proves a type of double whammy'. Don't we all.

The term 'social distancing' has been given the boot. Credit: PA
The term 'social distancing' has been given the boot. Credit: PA

This is followed up by 'social distancing', which I think is a term we would all like to see placed firmly in the nearest bin.

And while the committee admits it has been a 'useful' tool in battling the virus, hopefully 2021 will see the back of it.

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The top three is finished off by 'we're all in this together'. Similarly to 'social distancing', the committee said it had a time and a place, but as our understanding of the virus grew, so did the fact it affects different people in varying ways.

The uni also decided that it was time to say goodbye to 'in an abundance of caution', which it said was a 'vague' metric and didn't really mean anything, while 'in uncertain times' was deemed to be 'trite' and similarly vague.

Fans of Friends will probably have something to say about the next banished word: 'pivot'. But while you might be sick of your friends doing their best Ross impression, this nomination was due to reporters using the term to describe how people have had to adapt to the situation.

Either way, I'm happy to see it do one.

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Pivot was included in this year's list of banished words. Credit: Warner Bros.
Pivot was included in this year's list of banished words. Credit: Warner Bros.

Next up was 'unprecedented', which I think we can all get behind. It is actually the second time the word has been put in the list, with it previously being nominated back in 2002.

This time around, the committee said that 'given that it was nominated many times this year for misuse in describing events that do have precedent, inclusion again seems warranted'.

Coming in at eight is the term 'Karen'. Originally used to describe the behavior of entitled white women, it has since become 'a misogynist umbrella term for critiquing the perceived overemotional behavior of women'.

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The final two terms that have been cast aside this year are 'sus', which the complainers disliked due to the lack of effort required to write it out, and 'I know, right?', which pedants claimed didn't mean anything, and actually demonstrated a level of 'insecurity'.

Speaking about the controversial list, Peter Szatmary, executive director of marketing and communications, said: "It should surprise no one that this year's list was dominated by words and terms related to Covid-19.

"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."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Funny, Coronavirus, US News, Health, Covid-19

Dominic Smithers
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