What do “post-truth,” “guesstimate” and “831” have in common? They should all be banned. Or, so say the guardians of the English language, whose day jobs are at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. This group annually takes on the role of word police by collecting a list of words and phrases that we have used so much they have become annoying. The solution? Banish them. Here are 10 of the banned words and phrases on the 2017 list that were winnowed down from hundreds of entries:
1. You, sir
This hails from a more civilized era when duels were the likely outcome of disagreements. Today, we suffer online trolls and Internet shaming.
Good word, but overused when concentrate or look at would work fine.
3. Bete noire
After consulting a listing of synonyms, we gather this to be a bugbear, pet peeve, bug-boo, pain, or pest to our nominators.
4. Town hall meeting
Candidates seldom debate in town halls anymore. Needs to be shown the door along with “soccer mom(s)” and “Joe Sixpack” (banned in 1997).
To paraphrase the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, we are entitled to our own opinions but not to our own facts.
When guess and estimate are never enough.
A texting encryption of, I love you: 8 letters, 3 words, 1 meaning. Never encrypt or abbreviate one’s love.
8. On fleek
Anything that is on-point, perfectly executed, or looking good. Needs to return to its genesis: perfectly groomed eyebrows.
The flabby opposite of a chiseled-body male ideal. Should not empower dads to pursue a sedentary lifestyle.
Another food group co-opted by “frankenfood.” Not to be confused with other forms of genetically modified language.
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