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Banished Words for 2017


Frank L. Mayes of The Pensacola Journal, getting his dandruff up for a presser. Not.

The new year is only two days old, but I’m back to work on Emmett’s book.

As I prepare to do final edits on the first Emmett Wilson manuscript, a colleague shared the 42nd Annual List of Banished Words for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness.

“Because words matter,” she said.

Like me, she teaches professional writing at the University of Maryland.

Also, like me, she is known to circle or highlight words (such as ‘bigly’ or ‘dat’) in email messages from students, then returning the student messages, with instructions to resubmit using professional language/standard English.

Rest assured that “bigly” isn’t anywhere in Emmett’s manuscript; nor will you find Emmett or his work, or his eyebrows described anywhere as “on fleek.”

You will also be relieved to know that nowhere in the manuscript will you find Cephas Love Wilson “mansplaining” anything (I’m surprised this word didn’t make the list; we know Cephas probably spent 75 percent of life mansplaining things); nor will you find Frank Mayes insisting on “pressers,” because Emmett’s constituents were “getting their dandruff up” about his poor representation in West Florida.

There’s more to read on the Lake Superior State University Banished Word List Facebook page if you appreciate this kind of thing (as I do).

Categories: The Writing Life


Communication, Arts, and the Humanities
The University of Maryland Global Campus

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