Lake Superior State University has just released its 43rd annual tongue-in-cheek “List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness.”
According to an LSSU staffer, “We’ve drilled down and unpacked tons of pre-owned words and phrases deemed impactful by hundreds of nominators during 2017.”
The 2018 list:
Unpack – Misused word for analyze, consider, assess. Concepts or positions are not packed, so they don’t need to be unpacked.
Tons – Refers to an exaggerated quantity, as in tons of sunshine or tons of work. ‘Lots’ would surely suffice.
Dish – As in to dish out the latest rumor on someone. Let’s go back to ‘talks about’ and leave dishes in the cupboard.
Pre-owned – What is so disgraceful about owning a used car now and then?
Onboarding / Offboarding – Creature from the HR Lagoon. We used to have hiring, training and orientation. Now we need to have an “onboarding” process. Firings, quitting, and retirements are streamlined into “offboarding.”
Nothingburger – Says nothing that ‘nothing’ doesn’t already. I’ll take a quarter-pound of something in mine.
Let that sink in – One could say shocking, profound, or important. Let that sink in.
Let me ask you this – Wholly unnecessary statement. Just ask the question already.
Impactful – A frivolous word groping for something ‘effective’ or ‘influential.’
Covfefe – An impulsive typo, born into a 140-character universe, somehow missed by the autocorrect feature.
Drill Down – Instead of expanding on a statement, we “drill down on it.”
Fake News – Once upon a time stories could be empirically disproved. Now ‘fake news’ is any story you disagree with.
Hot Water Heater – Hot water does not need to be heated. ‘Water heater’ or ‘hot water maker’ will keep us out of hot water.
Gig Economy – Gigs are for musicians and stand-up comedians. Now expanded to imply a sense of freedom and a lifestyle that rejects tradition in a changing economic culture. Runs a risk of sharecropping.