News and Headlines


2016 banned words include vape, so, manspreading

Posted at 9:50 AM, Jan 02, 2016

If you've ever cringed at an over-used word or phrase, the annual Lake Superior State University "List of Banished Words" is the antidote to your annoyance.

According to LSSU, the tradition began with W. T. Rabe, former public relations director at the college in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Now in its fifth decade, "compilers hope this year's list will be so popular that it will break the Internet."

“Overused words and phrases are ‘problematic’ for thousands of Queen's English ‘stakeholders,’” said an LSSU spokesperson while ‘vaping’ an e-cigarette during a ‘presser.’  “Once something is banished, there's no ‘walking it back;’ that's our ‘secret sauce,' and there’s no ‘price point’ for that.”


  • so
  • conversation 
  • problematic
  • stakeholder
  • price point
  • secret sauce
  • break the Internet
  • walk it back
  • presser
  • manspreading
  • vape/vaping
  • giving me life
  • physicality

MORE: Read details of how each word or phrase made the list

How LSSU comes up with the list:

"This year's list is culled from nominations received mostly through the university's website, Word-watchers target pet peeves from everyday speech, as well as from the news, fields of education, technology, advertising, politics and more. A committee makes a final cut in late December." - Lake Superior State University