I have defined some of the words (underlined) in the blog post, which you can add to your Personal Dictionary. Click on the Excel icon to download the word list to your PC or mobile device, which you can thereafter import into your Personal Dictionary. They are also listed below.
Scroll down to the bottom for links to a crossword and word search using words from this post.
Encouragegive support, confidence, or hope
Discourage cause (someone) to lose confidence or enthusiasm
Overuse use (something) too much
Identifyrecognise or distinguish
Misuse use (something) in the wrong way or for the wrong purpose
Forbid refuse to allow (something)
Shortlist a list of selected candidates from which a final choice is made
Banish get rid of (something unwanted)
Initialism an abbreviation consisting of initial letters pronounced separately (e.g. BBC )
Manipulate control or influence (a person or situation) 
Colloquial (of language) used in ordinary or familiar conversation
Phenomenon a remarkable person or thing
Buzz-phrase a word or phrase, often an item of jargon, that is fashionable at a particular time or in a particular context
Utterance a spoken word, statement, or vocal sound
Restrict put a limit on; keep under control
Harsh cruel or severe
Self-explanatory easily understood; not needing explanation

This has got to be a first. Normally, I’m encouraging you to use more words, but in this blog post, I’m going to have to discourage you from using some, which have clearly been overused.

The Lake Superior State University has identified 10 words that they found to be ‘misused, overused and useless’ in 2022, and as a result have forbidden people to use them over the next 12 months. These words came from a shortlist of 1,500 nominated terms, with 1,000 being added to their ‘roll of shame’.

I have to confess that I didn’t know some of the expressions, so needed to do some research before writing this. The top 10 words on the banished list, in no particular order, are as follows;


GOAT is an overused internet initialism, in which people indicate their Greatest Of All Time celebrity, soccer player, singer etc. E.g Messi is then GOAT.

 2. Inflection point

The inflection point is a business term that refers to a time of significant change in a situation. I’ve never used this term before.

3. Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a colloquial expression to describe the manipulation of someone so as to make them question their own reality.

4. Quiet quitting

Quiet quitting is reportedly a phenomenon which started around the time of the pandemic in 2020, that refers to the practice of only putting in the minimum amount of work, effort or enthusiasm at the workplace. It might have been a new buzz-phrase, but I’m sure this practice has been going on since cavemen went out hunting!

5. Moving forward

An overused buzzword, which has the same meaning as going forward, moving forward has clearly annoyed enough people to be removed. Likewise, the next 2 (6. Amazing and 7. Absolutely, both used as positive utterances are annoying, but I can live with them. I would have preferred ‘awesome’ on the list, but maybe it’s already been removed. I had one client years ago, who used ‘awesome’ so often, that I had to restrict her to 3 usages of the word per lesson. You may think that was harsh of me, but most of her examples of the word weren’t even awesome!

8. Irregardless

Perhaps people’s biggest annoyance of ‘irregardless’ is that they don’t think it’s a word. More commonly, regardless or despite can be used in its place.

The final two; 9. Does that make sense? and 10. It is what it is should be self-explanatory.

I hope what I have written made sense. If not, it is what it is!  


To test your knowledge, why not do a crossword puzzle, using words from this text?

Click here for instructions on how to play.

To test your knowledge, why not do a word search puzzle, using words from this text?

Click here for instructions on how to play.

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