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.”