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Bae, foodie, hack and swag make the list of banned words

Dec 31, 2014

Foodies, hackers and people with skills each have a place on a new list of banned words.

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

For 40 years, the folks at Lake Superior State University have compiled a list of words that should be banned for “Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness.” 

There are more than 800 words on the list which is drawn from suggestions sent to LSSU. 

A variety of new words and phrases have made the list this year:

Foodie earned its place on the list among people who ask, “What’s so special about liking food?”

Hack is under attack not for major Web attacks, but for people using the term as a shortcut for saying “shortcut," which really isn’t that much shorter. 

And speaking of shorter, the folks at LSSU ask, “Why say skill set when talking about people with skills?

One takeaway from this year’s banned word list from Lake Superior State University may be that people don’t like winter.

It should be no surprise that polar vortex made this year’s list of words people felt were in the  Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness group.    

However, it may be a surprise that the word nation also made the list. That is "nation" when used in phrases like Spartan Nation, Red Sox Nation or Justin Bieber Nation.  

By the way, takeaway is another word on the list.

Other words added to LSSU’s banned list:

Bae – an endearment, or, some say, short for "before anybody else

“The most annoying term of affection to show up in years.”  – Blan Wright, Sugar Hill, Georgia

Swag – “Whether it's a ‘free gift’ (banished in 1988) or droopy clothing, this word is neither useful nor fancy.” – Jeff Drake, Saint Albans, West Virginia

Curate-curated – “It used to have a special significance reserved mainly for fine art and museums. Now everything is curated.” – Samantha McCormick, Kirkland, Washington

Friend-Raising – “A horrible word that conflates the real meaning of friendship with usually hidden motivations to get at the other person's pockets.” – Mary Been, Sidnaw, Michigan

Cra-cra (crazy) – “Short-form for ‘crazy’ and sometimes just one ‘cra.’ I hear kids (including my 6-year-old) saying it all the time, e.g. ‘That snowstorm yesterday was ‘cra-cra.’” – Esther Proulx, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

Enhanced Interrogation – “A shameful euphemism for torture.” – David Bristol, Byron Center, Michigan