The annual Banished Words List is back, and this time it's calling on people to remove "imprecise, trite and meaningless words" like "gaslighting" and "quiet quitting" from their vocabulary.
The list is a "tongue-in-cheek" compilation done every year by Lake Superior State University, which says more than 1,500 words were nominated for "banishment" due to their "misuse, overuse and uselessness." Nominations came from dozens of countries and across the United States, organizers said.
"Words and terms matter. Or at least they should. Especially those that stem from the casual or causal. That's what nominators near and far noticed, and our contest judges from the LSSU School of Arts and Letters agreed," said Peter Szatmary, the university's executive director of marketing and communications, in a press release.
At the top of the list isn't actually a word, but an acronym: G.O.A.T., or greatest of all time. The press release noted that the title has been bestowed on athletes, game show champions and more, with critics complaining it has become an "indiscriminate flaunt" that's "applied to everyone and everything from athletes to chicken wings."
Next on the list is "inflection point," described as a "mathematical term that entered everyday parlance and lost its original meaning," followed by "quiet quitting," the much-discussed label for an employee who does what companies see as the bare minimum.
"Gaslighting" is fourth on the list, due to "overuse" that "disconnects the term from the real concern" of dangerous psychological manipulation. (Clearly not everyone agrees, however: Merriam-Webster's dictionary chose "gaslighting" as its 2022 word of the year.)
Also making the list are "irregardless" (often incorrectly used in place of "regardless"), the overused superlatives "amazing" and "absolutely," and several common phrases: "moving forward," "does that make sense?" and "it is what it is." That last one was banished in 2008, but its resurgence prompted its inclusion again.
"Our linguists, editors, and philosophers, comics, gatekeepers, and pundits didn't succumb to quiet quitting when laboring over rife miscommunication. Rather, they turned in discerning opinions about rampant verbal and written blunders with equal parts amusement, despair, and outrage. But our nominators insisted, and our Arts and Letters faculty judges concurred, that to decree the Banished Words List 2023 as the GOAT is tantamount to gaslighting. Does that make sense?" said LSSU President Dr. Rodney S. Hanley in the press release. "Irregardless, moving forward, it is what it is: an absolutely amazing inflection point of purposeless and ineptitude that overtakes so many mouths and fingers."
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