As expected, Lake Superior State University has unveiled everything that was wrong with 2021 when it comes to our language.

On December 31, 2021, LSSU put out its anticipated list of words that are to be uttered no longer. They have been doing a Banished Words List since 1976 and it seems to gain more and more popularity every year. It's aimed to, as they say, "uphold, protect, and support excellence in language by encouraging avoidance of words and terms that are overworked, redundant, oxymoronic, clichéd, illogical, nonsensical—and otherwise ineffective, baffling, or irritating".

Over the last three and a half decades, LSSU has received tens of thousands of nominations for the list.

Here are the list of the banished words and terms for 2022 and the reasons for their banishment:

1. Wait, what?

Most frequently found in text or on social media, this is a failed “response to a statement to express astonishment, misunderstanding, or disbelief”. Misuse and overuse.

I'm guilty of this one in writing, less so in speech, as their assessment states.

2. No worries

This phrase incorrectly substitutes for “You’re welcome” when someone says “Thank you.” A further bungling relates to insensitivity. Despite its meaninglessness, the term is recommended to emailers by Google Assistant.

Guilty on this one too. In fact, I probably say it more than actually saying "thank you".

3. At the end of the day

Twenty-plus years after original banishment of this phrase in 1999, the day still isn’t over for this misused, overused, and useless expression. Banishment in 1999: overused synopsis of a conversation or debate, often by politicians and pundits.

I don't use this one much, but it also doesn't really bother me.

4. That being said

“However” or “but"—even “that said”—does the job as a transition instead of wordiness.

I also don't use this one much. That being said, I do say it occasionally. ;)

5. Asking for a friend

Misuse and overuse through deceit—because the friend is a ruse. This cutesy phrase, often deployed in social media posts in a coy attempt to deter self-identification, isn’t fooling anyone.

I HATE this one and am equally tired of seeing people thinking it is still funny. Enough already.

6. Circle back

“The most overused phrase in business, government, or other organization since ‘synergy’”—which we banished in 2002 .

This one is quite annoying and I do hear it at work way, way, way too much.

7. Deep dive

Another stipulated that people who float the phrase aren’t near pool, lake, ocean, or sea; thus, rather than dive deeply, they flounder shallowly.

I am guilty of using this one, but wouldn't say I overuse it. I actually like the idea of a deep dive into lots of subjects I enjoy.

8. New normal

Overused catchall for ways COVID-19 affects humankind—and banishment finalist last year for similar reasons.  Banished in 2012 for imprudence, defeatism, and apathy stemming from societal missteps.

YES! Go away with this one, please.

9. You’re on mute

People switched from in-person exchanges to virtual meetings to follow the social distancing protocol of COVID-19. Overuse and uselessness, then, due to ineptitude.

The phrase is ok, but commercials on television that spoofed Zoom meetings during the pandemic have been quite obnoxious.

10. Supply chain

Word-watchers noticed the frequent, unfortunate appearance of this phrase toward the end of this year as the coronavirus persisted. The adverse result: overuse ad nauseam.

Yes, we know there are issues with it. Maybe we need another phrase? Like, "yer gonna have trouble gettin' yer stuff ya want".

Things You Forgot Happened in 2021


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