10 Words and Phrases We Should All Stop Saying in 2023
Let's do a deep dive, shall we? Here's why these words and phrases made Lake Superior State University's annual banished list.
Words that are better left unsaid
Communication is a tricky thing. You may say something you think is crystal-clear, or perfectly summarizes your point, only to leave your recipient confused—or annoyed. We abide by key grammar rules when writing, so why shouldn’t we follow key communication rules, too? One of those rules: Mean what you say, and say what you mean. That means cutting the fluff, even if you’re itching to use funny or fancy words.
Looking for word fluff to ditch? Consider the 10 words and phrases below. Each year, Lake Superior State University (LSSU) releases a cheeky list of words and phrases that should be banished due to misuse, overuse and uselessness. According to LSSU’s website, this annual tradition, started in 1976, aims to “uphold, protect, and support excellence in language by encouraging avoidance of words and terms that are overworked, redundant, oxymoronic, clichéd, illogical, nonsensical—and otherwise ineffective, baffling, or irritating.” This year’s list was whittled down from more than 1,500 global nominations throughout 2022. Read on to see which words and phrases made the list of words to avoid in 2023, and why.
GOAT may stand for “Greatest of All Time,” but in 2023, GOAT is only the greatest in becoming the top word to stop using. The LSSU judges have concluded that the acronym and texting abbreviation is too broad and nonsensical. “Applied to everyone and everything from athletes to chicken wings, how can anyone or anything be the GOAT, anyway?” the LSSU list cites a protestor’s objection. While we put the word to rest, we can still admire these hilarious and adorable goat pictures in the meantime.
“Overuse and misuse,” the LSSU judges declare of the phrase. In reality, an inflection point is actually a “mathematical term that entered everyday parlance and lost its original meaning,” the judges explain.
The workplace buzzword that took the world by storm in 2022 is also one of the words judges concur should be left in 2022. Quiet quitting, AKA the phenomenon of an employee withholding “some aspect of their typical job performance,” may be trendy but also inaccurate, according to judges. “It’s not a new phenomenon; it’s burnout, ennui, boredom, disengagement,” the judges write. Nonetheless, the term may have helped to contribute to new workplace ideas like the four-day work week and digital nomads.
Merriam-Webster’s 2022 word of the year has made another unexpected addition to the list of words to be left in 2022. The judges rule that gaslighting is concerning and a common sign of a toxic relationship. However, they also argue that it is grossly overused and misused in our everyday language for such a serious phenomenon.
“Where else would we go?” the judges write of “moving forward.” Similarly, the phrase “going forward,” was put on the list of banishment more than two decades ago in 2001.
The glowing adjective has made a comeback more than a decade later on the list of not-so-amazing phrases to continue in 2023. “Not everything is amazing; and when you think about it, very little is,” the judges cite of an objector.
“Does that make sense?”
The judges ruled that the common workplace phrase is “needy, scheming and/or cynical.” Not to mention, it’s also passive-aggressive. We’re putting it on the same page as the thumbs-up emoji, in terms of communication to keep out of the workplace in 2023.
“Is irregardless even a word?” the judges ponder. They rule that the word seems like a longer version of the word “regardless.” Plus, it even made our roundup of words that make you sound stupid.
Take it back to the ’90s when it comes to banning “absolutely.” That’s right, the word was put on the banish list all the way back in 1996, “but deserves a repeat nope given its overuse,” the judges write.
“It is what it is”
“Well duh,” the judges proclaim of the phrase often followed by a sigh. Is it an excuse not to deal with responsibility? Borderline rude? The LSSU judges seem to think so. No wonder it made our roundup of one of the most annoying phrases in the English language.
- LSSU: “2023 Banished Words List“