2021 list of “banished” words and phrases are all about Covid-19

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CNN: You’ve undoubtedly seen and heard the phrases in commercials since the pandemic began.

“We live in unprecedented times.” “In these challenging, difficult times.” “Out of an abundance of caution.” “We’re in this together.”

According to one university, that’s gone on long enough.

In its annual review, Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, released the 2021 edition of the Top 10 words and phrases that are overused to the point of becoming insincere, useless or cliché. For 2020, it’s all about Covid-19.

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More than 1,450 phrases were nominated from around the world for consideration, LSSU said, and seven of the 10 phrases that the university selected for so-called “banishment” this year are about the coronavirus. They include:

  • “Covid-19”
  • “Social distancing”
  • “We’re all in this together”
  • “Pivot”
  • “Unprecedented”
  • and any variation of “in an abundance of caution” and “in these uncertain times.”

The university has compiled its annual “List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness” since New Year’s Day 1976. The list seeks to “uphold, protect, and support excellence in language” by encouraging the avoidance of words and terms that have been overused to the point of being “ineffective, baffling, or irritating.”

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.


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