Phrases like “quid pro quo” and “ok, boomer” have made the cut for Lake Superior State University’s list of “banished” words.
The List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness, which the university calls “tongue-in-cheek,” is created based on submissions. The university said it receives tens of thousands of submissions each year from all over the world, which are then cut down by a committee in December to create the final list for the year.
The “banished words list” now has more than 1,000 total entries.
The phrase “quid pro quo” was the most nominated word or phrase to be banned in the year 2020.
“The popularity of this phrase has the committee wondering what it should offer in exchange for next year’s nominations,” the university said on its website.
“No quid pro quo was offered during the creation of this meticulously curated list of words,” stated Rodney Hanley, LSSU President. “I mean, literally, this holiday season I’m living my best life and looking forward to all the reactions to this year’s list.”
Other banished words and phrases include influencer, mouthfeel, artisanal, vibe check, I mean, literally, and OK, Boomer. The abbreviations “totes” and “jelly” — short for totally and jealous, respectively — were also banned.
Words can be banned for a variety of reasons, including pretentiousness or overuse.
The “banished words list” was first published in 1976 by late Lake Superior State University Public Relations Director W.T. Rabe as a publicity ploy. Rabe created the list to help advertise the university and highlight how it has grown from a branch of Michigan College of Mining and Technology to an autonomous university with more than 60 degree programs.
Rabe also established the mythical Unicorn Hunters, as well as events like the annual Snowman Burning to welcome the first day of spring.
Read the full list of banished words here.
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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with Battleground State News and The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]
Photo “Lake Superior State University” by Lake Superior State University.