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2014 LSSU List of Banished Words: Selfie, twerking and hashtag on list of annoying words

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“Selfie”, “twerking” and “hashtag” top 2014 Lake Superior State University List of Banished Words.

LSSU collected suggestions from members of the public for its 39th annual list of words that should be banned.

It recommends the words be “banished from the Queen’s English” because of misuse, overuse or just being useless.


Last year it tried to ban expressions including “double down”, “bucket list” and “YOLO” (You Only Live Once).

For LSSU’s 2014 list, “selfie” received the most nominations.

Selfie, twerking and hashtag top 2014 Lake Superior State University List of Banished Words

Selfie, twerking and hashtag top 2014 Lake Superior State University List of Banished Words

The term, which refers to a self-portrait photo, was named word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries only last month.

“Twerk” (a dance move) similarly attracts LSSU’s opprobrium, even though it was also shortlisted by Oxford Dictionaries.

The college’s vocabulists also lamented the rise of “hashtag” and “Twittersphere”, terms from social media that have seeped into everyday speech.

Combination words using variations of -mageddon or -pocalypse, such as “snowpocalypse” or “budgetmageddon”, also ended up on the forbidden list.

It is not clear whether the LSSU’s roster will be a game-changer (an expression LSSU tried to ban in 2009).

Last year’s banned words remain stubbornly resilient in usage. And many of the terms banned in recent years, recorded on the complete list, such as “angst”, “24/7”, “no-brainer” and “spoiler alert”, continue to flourish.

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