• ‘Polar Vortex,’ ‘Bae’ Top Annual Word Banishment List

    “Polar vortex,” “BAE,” and “hack” are among the words that have been declared “banished” from the English language, according to a popular annual list released by Lake Superior State University (LSSU).

    The List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness has been produced by LSSU’s faculty around the new year every year since 1976, based on thousands of suggestions submitted by the general public. This year’s list, like those in years past, covers an array of teen slang, euphemisms, and overused terms from the political and business worlds.

    “Bae,” shorthand for “before anyone else” and now a popular term for significant others, was a top nominees for banishment this year, according to LSSU. Blan Wright of Sugar Hill, Georgia, one of those nominating it, complained that it was “the most annoying term of affection to show up in years.”

    Another top nominee was “polar vortex,” a scientific term that entered popular use last winter when the country was rocked by a wave of extreme cold and is now revived with every cold snap.

    Bob Priddy of Jefferson City, Missouri complained that the term became so overused so quickly that it rapidly migrated to other areas, as when his city’s paper editorialized on a “political vortex.”

    Another 2015 pick, banished for “over-use and mis-use,” was the word “hack,” which has migrated over from computer science to now describe virtually any tip or shortcut.

    “I have seen articles about life hacks, home improvement hacks, car hacks, furniture hacks, painting hacks, work hacks and pretty much any other hack you can think of. There are probably even hacking hacks,” complained Chellsea Mastroine of Canton, Ohio.

    This year’s 12 “winners” join more than 800 words have been banished over the years, with recent entries including “twerking,” “too big to fail” and the use of “-gate” suffix for scandals. Several words, including “basically” and “exact same,” have been banished multiple times.

    The other terms marked for abolition on the 2015 list include:

    -Skill set



    -Enhanced interrogation





    -Nation, when used to describe a sports fandom

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