‘GOAT,’ ‘gaslighting,’ ‘quiet quitting’ make 2023’s ‘Banished Words’ list

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — Some things are better left unsaid. At least that’s the argument made by Lake Superior State University, which released a list of words the school has “banished” for 2023.

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In a news release revealing the entries for this year’s list, Lake Superior State University said it examined more than 1,500 words and terms nominated for banishment “for misuse, overuse and uselessness.”

The number one “best of the worst” was “GOAT,” an acronym meaning greatest of all time. “The many nominators didn’t have to be physicists or grammarians to determine the literal impossibility and technical vagueness of this wannabe superlative,” the school said in its news release.

“Words and terms matter. Or at least they should,” said Peter Szatmary, executive director of marketing and communications at Lake State. “That’s what nominators near and far noticed, and our contest judges from the LSSU School of Arts and Letters agreed.”

The full list of words banished by LSSU:


2. Inflection point

3. Quiet quitting

4. Gaslighting

5. Moving forward

6. Amazing

7. Does that make sense?

8. Irregardless

9. Absolutely

10. It is what it is

“The nine additional words and terms banished from 2023 … also fall somewhere on the spectrum between specious and tired,” Szatmary said. “They’re empty as balderdash or diluted through oversaturation. Be careful — more careful — with buzzwords and jargon.”

LSSU has published a list of “banished” words since 1976, which now totals more than 1,000 entries.

Nominations for the 2023 list came from across the United States as well as 21 other countries, including the Netherlands, Australia, Nigeria and Namibia.