January 21, 2022

‘Banished Words List’ for 2022

Photo of a book and reading glasses

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

We’re officially into the New Year, and there are certain words we’re supposed to avoid saying this year, at least according to Lake Superior State University.

The university has revealed its annual “Banished Words” tally. No. 1 on the list is “wait, what?” I can’t say I’ve ever heard anyone actually say that, but it’s apparently a very popular phrase.

“These two four-letter words should not go together under any circumstances, according to many nominators and the contest judges from the LSSU English Department, because the two-part halting interrogative is disingenuous, divergent, deflective, and other damning words that begin with the letter d,” a press release from the Lake Superior State University states.

Another popular phrase that I actually have heard a lot is “no worries.” It’s on the list.

“If I’m not worried, I don’t want anyone telling me not to worry,” a contributor stated, in the university’s press release. “If I am upset, I want to discuss being upset.” They note the phrase is also recommended to emailers by Google Assistant.

A COVID-19-related phrase that’s on the list is “new normal.” How many times have you heard that one the past year? We’re guessing a lot.

“Those clamoring for the days of old, circa 2019, use this to signal unintentionally that they haven’t come to terms with what ‘normal’ means,” a monitor stated in the release. “After a couple of years, is any of this really ‘new?'” another said. “Banished in 2012 for imprudence, defeatism, and apathy stemming from societal missteps.”

Most of the banished words – 7, to be exact – are conversational-based. The other three have to do with COVID-19.

According to Lake Superior State University, this year’s nominations were sent in from many major U.S. cities and states, as well as Belgium, Norway, England, Scotland, Australia and some Canadian provinces. The university has been putting the list together since 1976.

Here’s LSSU’s list of “Banished Words” for 2022:

No worries
At the end of the day
That being said
Asking for a friend
Circle back
Deep dive
New normal
You’re on mute
Supply chain

If you would like to nominate a word or term for banishment for 2023, visit LSSU’s website here.