Drill Down and Unpack These Banned Words for 2018

BY Courtney Huckabay
Featured image for “Drill Down and Unpack These Banned Words for 2018”

There comes a time in your career when you must evaluate your business vocabulary. (Or, if you're a trend-​setting go-​getter, you do it annually to keep up with the kids.) Today is that day, people. I've got a list of phrases and words you need to ban from your speech straight away. I'm not being bossy, Lake Superior State University tells us to zip it every year!

LSSU recently released its 43rd annual List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-​use, Over-​use and General Uselessness. Through the years, LSSU has received tens of thousands of nominations for the list, which now includes almost 900 entries. Word-​watchers target pet peeves from everyday speech, as well as from the news, fields of education, technology, advertising, politics and more.

I like to share these banishment practices each year, so strike these business-​related language atrocities from your emails, texts, posts and conversations right now. The sooner you do, the smarter you will sound in your offices. Here are a few major catastrophes, but look over the entire list on LSSU's website.

Impactful – "A frivolous word groping for something ‘effective’ or ‘influential'." I have been harping on this misuse/​made-​up-​word for a DECADE! Stop it. Just stop it! You only make an impact. That is all.

Let me ask you this – "Wholly unnecessary statement. Just ask the question already."

Unpack – "Misused word for analyze, consider, assess. Concepts or positions are not packed, so they don’t need to be unpacked." Don't be caught using this when you're on the phone with clients.

Pre-​owned – "What is so disgraceful about owning a used car now and then?"

Onboarding/​Offboarding – "Creature from the HR Lagoon. We used to have hiring, training and orientation. Now we need to have an 'onboarding' process. Firings, quitting, and retirements are streamlined into 'offboarding'.” Eye roll.

Take your professional development and professional dialogue to a new level in 2018. Ban the butchering of the English language for the betterment of humanity.