10 Words to Avoid in 2016

By Christine Born, January 10, 2016

The wordsmiths at Lake Superior State University have been gathering and publishing an annual list of banished words since 1976, after a New Year’s Eve party where LSSU faculty and students created the first list from their own pet peeves. This year’s list may particularly hit home with event professionals. Consider yourself warned before using these 10 terms.

SO

Soooooo overused as the first word to answer any question, this word received the most nominations and vitriolic comments.

CONVERSATION

Uh-oh, planners, better use another word for interactive sessions.

PROBLEMATIC

Described as a corporate-academic weasel word by Urban Dictionary

STAKEHOLDER

Extended to cover customers and others, the word is considered “pretentious jargon,” “business-speak” and on par with “engagement” and “socialize.”

PRICE POINT

“An alliterative mutation” using two words where one will suffice

SECRET SAUCE

“Is this a metaphor for business success based on the fast food industry?” commented one contributor.

BREAK THE INTERNET

Overused to the point it has become trite

WALK IT BACK

This new way to refer to backpedaling is popular among politicians. You don’t want to talk like them, do you?

PRESSER

A shorter, more awkward, buzzword used in place of press releases or press conferences

MANSPREADING

Yuck! Enough said.

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