Most hated words and phrases

Most hated words

For the past 37 years, Lake Superior State University (LSSU) has released a List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness. I generally agree with the words, especially 2011’s “viral” and “BFF”, though I’m not sure I feel the same about “Facebook and Google as verbs” as “Google it” is a staple in my vocabulary. And the new top terrible word for 2012 is:


A Facebook page, "Overuse of the Word Amazing", threatened to change its title to "Occupy LSSU" if “amazing” escaped banishment this year.

Followed by:

Baby Bump

Shared Sacrifice

Occupy (as in Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Toronto, etc.)


Man Cave

The New Normal

Pet Parent

Win the Future



Thank You in Advance

Obviously, you can see the influence of the economic crisis in the United States as well as its politics in shaping this list, with “Shared Sacrifice”, “Win the Future”, “Blowback”, “the New Normal” and “Occupy” making the top 10.

While I’m the first to admit that I have the urge to slap anyone who calls me a “pet parent” (or, for that matter, calls my incredibly gorgeous and “amazing” dog, my “baby”) I’m not worried about “trickeration” as sports are just not on my radar. And the only time I see the phrase “baby bump” is when reading the celebrity tabloids at the grocery store check-out counter. But “man cave”? Personally*, I think it’s an apt description for the dens of several men (and a couple of women) I know.

Now that I know, however, that “Thank You in Advance” is truly irritating to so many people — it’s presumptuous and lazy (“I’m not going to thank you later”) — I’ll try to refrain from using it. 

Note that I’m leaving out “Ginormous” all together, because, really, outside of a conversation with a tween, where would you hear this?

If you want to see comments on this year’s words or have a gander at pervious years’ words, check out the LSSU site.

* I’m sure the word “personally” must be on some year’s list, as even I know it’s redundant. Is there a difference between saying “Personally, I think you are very nice” or “I think you are very nice”? And people use it way too much. So if you come across this word in any of the lists, let me know. And if you have a favourite hated word, drop me a line and we can compare notes. Just for the record, I also hate “I’m not being rude, but…” and “I’m just saying…” two of the most passive aggressive sayings out there.

Header image by Nyman Ink. Body image by Derek Kimball, SXC.


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