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Is Your Favorite Word on the List of 2013’s Banned Words?

Memphis CVB, Flickr

People rarely make language-based New Year’s resolutions. But if you have a tendency to use hashtag (and Drake) favorite term “YOLO,” you might want to think about nixing that habit in 2013.

That’s because the suddenly ubiquitous acronym — which stands for “you only live once” — made Lake Superior State University 38th annual List of Words to be Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness. The list of 12 also includes phrases and was whittled down from ten of thousands of nominees.

Politically-tinged words such as “job creators” and “fiscal cliff” peppered the “dirty dozen,” which is not surprising considering 2012 was a presidential election year.

Other banned words, like “trending” and “superfood,” have been annoying the public for years.

Perhaps the most controversial inclusion on this year’s list was “spoiler alert.” Yes, the phrase itself is trite and annoying, but it does sort of serve a purpose, whereas most of the other chosen words — like “guru” — have basically come to mean nothing.

Check out all 12 words that Lake Superior State wants out of the English language below. For a peek into the history of LSSU’s banned words list, head over to

Fiscal cliff
Kick the can down the road
Double down
Job creators/creation
YOLO — which stands for “You Only Live Once”
Spoiler alert
Bucket list
Boneless wings

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