The 16 most overused words of the year

Every New Year's Eve since 1976, tiny Lake Superior State College gives us the "List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness."  Partly tongue in cheek, the list is a check on political correctness and a blow against an Orwellian use of the English language.

Some of this year's finalists gleaned from tens of thousands of entries are spot on.

 So

"Tune in to any news channel and you'll hear it. The word serves no purpose in the sentence and to me is like fingernails on a chalkboard. So, I submit the extra, meaningless, and overused word 'so,'" wrote Scott Shackleton, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

Problematic

"Anything that the speaker finds vaguely inconvenient or undesirable, such as an opposing political belief or bad traffic. Contrast things that are self-evidently taken to be problematic with, say, actual problems like a hole in the ozone layer or a job loss," wrote Adam Rosen of Asheville, North Carolina. 

Stakeholder

"Often used with 'engagement.' If someone is disengaged, they're not really a stakeholder in the first place. LSSU, please engage your stakeholders by adding this pretentious jargon to your list," wrote Gwendolyn Barlow of Portland, Oregon.

Break the Internet

"Meaning a post or video or whatever will have so much Internet traffic that it will 'break the internet.' It's being used for every headline and video. Ridiculous," wrote Matthew Squires of Auburn.

Manspreading

"Men don't need another disgusting-sounding word thrown into the vocabulary to describe something they do...You're just taking too much room on this train seat, be a little more polite..." wrote Carrie Hansen of Caledonia.

Vape

David Ervin of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario says he hopes the word "goes up in smoke."

I would have included "microaggression," "privilege," and "safe space" among examples of "university speak" that deserve banishment.  But I guess it's too much to expect, since the list originates at a college.

Read the entire list here.

Every New Year's Eve since 1976, tiny Lake Superior State College gives us the "List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness."  Partly tongue in cheek, the list is a check on political correctness and a blow against an Orwellian use of the English language.

Some of this year's finalists gleaned from tens of thousands of entries are spot on.

 So

"Tune in to any news channel and you'll hear it. The word serves no purpose in the sentence and to me is like fingernails on a chalkboard. So, I submit the extra, meaningless, and overused word 'so,'" wrote Scott Shackleton, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

Problematic

"Anything that the speaker finds vaguely inconvenient or undesirable, such as an opposing political belief or bad traffic. Contrast things that are self-evidently taken to be problematic with, say, actual problems like a hole in the ozone layer or a job loss," wrote Adam Rosen of Asheville, North Carolina. 

Stakeholder

"Often used with 'engagement.' If someone is disengaged, they're not really a stakeholder in the first place. LSSU, please engage your stakeholders by adding this pretentious jargon to your list," wrote Gwendolyn Barlow of Portland, Oregon.

Break the Internet

"Meaning a post or video or whatever will have so much Internet traffic that it will 'break the internet.' It's being used for every headline and video. Ridiculous," wrote Matthew Squires of Auburn.

Manspreading

"Men don't need another disgusting-sounding word thrown into the vocabulary to describe something they do...You're just taking too much room on this train seat, be a little more polite..." wrote Carrie Hansen of Caledonia.

Vape

David Ervin of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario says he hopes the word "goes up in smoke."

I would have included "microaggression," "privilege," and "safe space" among examples of "university speak" that deserve banishment.  But I guess it's too much to expect, since the list originates at a college.

Read the entire list here.