University's List of Banished Words Includes "Fail"

The Story

In an attempt to stop the "Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness" of certain words, Lake Superior State University publishes an annual List of Banished Words.  Topping this year's list are "viral," "epic," "fail" (sorry, only as a noun), "wow factor," "a-ha moment" (perhaps in honor of Oprah's retirement), "back story," "BFF," and "man up."

Wordle banned words
Discussion Starters

  • How do you feel about these words?  Should they be "banished" (or curtailed), or are they harmless?
  • Which of these words are you surprised to see?  Which are not surprising?

Assignment Ideas

  • Identify which of these words would be problematic in business communication.  Use the barriers to communication described in Chapter 1 to explain your answer.
  • In small groups, brainstorm a list of additional words that might  make your own "banished" list.  Which annoy you the most and why?