If you could ban any word from the English language, what would it be?
According to an annual poll taken by a Michigan university, the first to be resigned to the dustbin of lexical history should be… ‘amazing’.
The humble adjective stirs the ire of more people around the world than any other according Lake Superior State University, who each year request nominations for its list of "Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness".
"Many nominators mentioned over-use on television when they sent their entries," LSSU told the Guardian.
"It [the word ‘amazing’] seemed to bother people everywhere, as nominations were sent from around the US and Canada and some from overseas, including Israel, England and Scotland. A Facebook page – 'Overuse of the Word Amazing' – threatened to change its title to 'Occupy LSSU' if 'amazing' escaped banishment this year."
University spokesman John Shibley told USAToday that he and his colleagues were surprised that "amazing" hadn't already graced the archive of about 900 banished words.
Living in a country where the derivative 'amazeballs' exists, we can't help but feel this is an injustice.
Second in the list was the even more innocuous ‘baby bump’, which one voter, Susan from Takoma Park, Maryland, described as ‘making pregnancy sound like some fun and in-style thing to do, not a serious choice…’. Evidently anyone using the term ought to consider themselves unfit for parenthood from now on.
In at third was the frankly baffling ‘Man cave’, a term a quick HuffPost investigation revealed to denote a bedroom or space appropriated for men to do ‘men things’, usually equipped with a large TV, gym equipment or video games. We believe this is what was once known in a by-gone era as a ‘garden shed’ or ‘garage’.
The LSSU’s annual list has been running since 1975 when its first list of hated words and phrases including "at this point in time" and "meaningful dialogue". Last year's list included "fail," "viral" and "a-ha moment."
Some of the words the Huffington Post UK team would like to add to the list include: "moist", "literally", "that" and "totes" (as in, "totally").
What word or phrases would you most like to ban? Let us know below!
CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this story, Lake Superior State University was misidentified. We regret the error.