From ‘rona’ to ‘social distancing’, these words from 2020 have been ‘banned’

A number of new phrases were introduced into our vocabulary over the past year, some loved, and some not so much.

An university in America has decided to take matters into their own hands and have vetoed a number of words and phrases conjured up throughout the global pandemic, releasing their yearly list of terms that are to be banned.

Lake Superior State University in Michigan had over 1,450 phrases nominated to be banned via the list – which is a lighthearted one – and have rounded up the top contenders.

Unsurprisingly, the ones making it to the top are mostly Covid-19 related, and we don't blame them.

Taking the crown is everyone's favourite, coronavirus, and any variation of the disease such as Covid, Miss Rona, Roni, Covvy-D, they're all banned.

At number two is "social distancing", followed by the phrase "we're all in this together" in number three, which frankly, is a little insulting to the cast of High School Musical.

Number four is the phrase "in an abundance of caution", with the committee deciding it was too much of a "vague" metric which didn't really mean anything, closely followed by "in uncertain times", a firm favourite of ours here in the UK, which the university decided was too "trite".

Switching it up for number six was a very stand-out word from the 90s sitcom Friends, Ross Geller's iconic "pivot".

However, this was chosen due to its relation to the virus, as people have been using it to describe adapting to life with Covid.

We're sure everyone will agree with number seven, which is "unprecedented", one we've heard a criminal amount of times on a daily basis, with the committee saying "given that it was nominated many times this year for misuse in describing events that do have precedent, inclusion again seems warranted".

"Karen" is standing tall at number eight, and this hilarious submission is possibly the most 2020 of them all. The popular moniker has transformed into the lexis used to describe a certain kind of person, usually the "I'd like to speak to the manager" kind, with the University stating the reason for its inclusion being "a misogynist umbrella term for critiquing the perceived overemotional behaviour of women".

Taking the final two spots are "sus" and "I know, right?", which apparently demonstrate a level of "insecurity".

Speaking about the University's list, executive director of marketing and communications Peter Szatmary, said: "It should surprise no one that this year's list was dominated by words and terms related to Covid-19.

"LSSU's Banished Words List has reflected signs of the times since debuting in the mid-1970s, and the zeitgeist this year is: We're all in this together by banishing expressions like 'We're all in this together.'

"To be sure, Covid-19 is unprecedented in wreaking havoc and destroying lives. But so is the over-reliance on 'unprecedented' to frame things, so it has to go, too."

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