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Make No Mistake About It: Implement Meaningful Language (Vis-à-vis Lake Superior State University’s Annual Banished Words List)

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Listen up! Memo in the public interest: wordsmiths, eschew yadda, yadda, yadda. Adults over 21, baby boomers, yuppies, Generation X, dawgs, divas, dudes, females, new kids on the block, Mr. Moms, non-essential government workers, mavericks: take it to the next level. Conceptualize viable alternatives; prioritize doable sea changes; tweet teachable moments. Join the conversation! Curate thought leaders. Revisit all except impactful factoids, world-class talking points, breaking news—literally. Drill down on apparent fake news, clearly ambiguous truthiness, dead serious conventional wisdom, emotional trickeration, fuzzy math, false pretenses, and more! Double down on skill sets. Embrace user-friendly mandates, big time. Now, more than ever, disenfranchise angst. Terminal cuteness? Don’t even go there. Bling? Walk it back. Blowback by and large serves no useful purpose. Wrap your head around optics. Bottom line, leverage epic takeaways. More importantly, at the end of the day, empower classic, awesome a-ha moments. Get with the program! Git-er-done!

Simply stated, all of the above words and phrases—along with the two-word expression that begins this sentence, plus the first line of the headline of this press release—have been banished by Lake Superior State University at some point since the mid-1970s. (Even “vis-à-vis” in the parenthetical portion of the top of this presser and that latter informal noun are LSSU phraseological no-nos.)

Why? Because LSSU has compiled an annual Banished Words List since 1976 to uphold, protect, and support excellence in language by encouraging everyone to avoid words and terms that are overused, redundant, oxymoronic, clichéd, illogical, nonsensical—and otherwise ineffective, baffling, or irritating.

The deadline to submit entries for consideration for banishment for 2021 is 8 AM Eastern Standard Time on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020 @

“It’s our tradition to publish the world-famous Banished Words List on Dec. 31 so that people don’t begin the New Year by putting their foot in their mouth,” said LSSU President Dr. Rodney S. Hanley. “No-brainer—which also made our list in the past.”

For more information about LSSU’s Banished Words List, go online to