Make No Mistake About It: Implement Meaningful Language
Vis-à-vis Lake Superior State University’s Annual Banished Words List
(Lake Superior State University File Image)
Nov. 11, 2020 at 2:41 PM EST
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SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (LSSU/WLUC) – 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.
“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.”
About Lake Superior State University: Lake Superior State University is one of Michigan’s most affordable public universities with One-Rate at Lake State tuition for all. Surrounded by three Great Lakes, LSSU is an unsurpassed location for research, innovation, and real-world experiences. Regional centers are in Escanaba, Iron Mountain, and Petoskey. LSSU opened its newest location in St. Helen in 2020. LSSU’s NCAA Division I hockey team has won five national championships; men compete in five other sports and women in six at the Division II level. Lake State was founded in 1946 in Sault Ste. Marie, the oldest city in Michigan (1668), on the site of the former U.S. Army’s Fort Brady. Lake State has approximately 2,000 undergraduate students, with 88 percent coming from Michigan, and with every county represented. Ninety percent of full-time students receive financial aid. Learn more at
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