An inflection point for GOATs: Please quiet quit these ‘banished words’ moving forward

Since 1976, Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, has released an annual list of words that deserve to be banished from our vocabularies due to “misuse, overuse and uselessness.”

“Our nominators insisted, and our Arts and Letters faculty judges concurred, that to decree the Banished Words List 2023 as the GOAT is tantamount to gaslighting. Does that make sense?”

I kid you not.

According to the list, the word “GOAT,” short for greatest of all time, is ranked No. 1 as the best of the worst for 2023. Out of over 1,500 nominations — from people across the U.S. and as far afield as New Zealand and Namibia — judges declared the acronym as this year’s top offender.

Here’s the full list of the school’s banished words for this year:

  1. GOAT
  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

Joining “GOAT” in banishment are nine other words and phrases that nominators and judges complained were used so often that they had become disconnected from their literal meanings – like “amazing,” which nominators fretted no longer meant “dazzling” or “awe-inspiring.”

“Not everything is amazing; and when you think about it, very little is,” one nominator noted.

In a more serious example, some worried that overuse of the term “gaslighting” hurt the word’s ability to describe a specific type of dangerous psychological manipulation. (Lookups for the word’s definition were up more than 1,700% in 2022, Merriam-Webster said when it announced “gaslighting” as 2022’s word of the year.)

*As a sidenote, the featured picture is of Simba, a Pakistani goat with ears that dangle 22 inches.

GGEOAT – Greatest goat ears of all time.