It started as a publicity ploy.
Bill Rabe, the former PR director at Lake Superior State University in Michigan, and his friends conceived of the idea of a banned word list at a New Year’s Eve party in 1975. The next day they published it.
Now in its 37th year, the List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness
attracts submissions from around the globe. And this year the globe spoke: The word receiving the most nominations this year is “amazing”—and it’s the first time this word has made the list.
“It seemed to bother people everywhere, as nominations were sent from around the U.S. and Canada and some from overseas, including Israel, England and Scotland,” the university explained. “A Facebook page—‘Overuse of the Word Amazing’—threatened to change its title to ‘Occupy LSSU’ if 'amazing' escaped banishment this year.”
Speaking of “occupy,” it made the list, too—a list that has proved a boon for the university in terms of free publicity.
Here are all 12 words, according to the number of submissions they received.
- Baby bump
- Shared sacrifice
- Man cave
- The new normal
- Pet parents
- Win the future
- Thank you in advance