Would a story that unpacks tiresome words and phrases be impactful or a nothingburger? Worse, could it be fake news?
We ask in light of Michigan's Lake Superior State University's 43rd List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness.
Leaders from thousands of suggestions are "let me ask you this," "unpack,"impactful," "nothingburger," "tons," "dish," "drill down," "let that sink in" and top vote-getter "fake news." Others include "pre-owned," "gig economy" and redundant "hot water heater." While the list has some political flavor, university spokesman John Shibley says he expected more after a divisive presidential election and a year of deepening US divisions.
He highlights "fake news," which has been used against entirely fabricated reporting, stories that contain errors or inaccuracies, and those with a critical tone. It has even been wielded as a cudgel against entire news networks. It was also the second most annoying word or phrase in a poll by New York state's Marist College behind "whatever."