People Are Sick of Hearing ‘New Normal’

A university has issued its annual ‘Banished Words List’ for 2022.

With their nominations to Lake Superior State University (LSSU)’s annual tongue-in-cheek “Banished Words List,” people from around the world sent a message to be accurate and concise and avoid error in and exploitation of everyday language.

More than 1,000 of the 1,250-plus nominations of words and terms people want to see banished for misuse, overuse and uselessness for 2022 were colloquial. The No. 1 offender was “Wait, what?” Most frequently found in text or on social media, this ubiquitous imperative question is a failed “response to a statement to express astonishment, misunderstanding or disbelief,” explained a wordsmith. “I hate it,” added another, because the command query is an inexact method to convey the utterer’s uncertainty or surprise. “I don’t want to wait,” either, continued the nominator.

“That being said” took the No. 4 spot on the list. Nominators cited this phrase as verbal filler, redundant justification and pompous posturing. For instance, “however” or “but—even “that said”—does the job as a transition instead of the wordiness. “Go ahead and say what you want already!” demanded one entrant.

“New normal,” “You’re on mute” and “supply chain” were phrases resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic that made the list of banished words for 2022. “Supply chain issues have become the scapegoat of everything that doesn’t happen or arrive on time and of every shortage,” one person said.

According to the university, the top 10 banished words/phrases for 2022 are:

  1. Wait, what?
  2. No worries
  3. At the end of the day
  4. That being said
  5. Asking for a friend
  6. Circle back
  7. Deep dive
  8. New normal
  9. You’re on mute
  10. Supply chain

LSSU has compiled an annual “Banished Words List” since 1976 “to uphold, protect and support excellence in language by encouraging avoidance of words and terms that are overworked, redundant, oxymoronic, clichéd, illogical, nonsensical—and otherwise ineffective, baffling or irritating.”

Over the decades, LSSU has received tens of thousands of nominations for the list, which now totals more than 1,000 entries. Examples of the winners (or should that be losers?) to make the yearly compilation: “detente,” “surely,” “classic,” “bromance,” and “COVID-19,” plus “wrap my head around,” “user friendly,” “at this point in time,” “not so much” and “viable alternative.”

Nominations came from most major U.S. cities and many U.S. states, as well as Norway, Belgium, England, Scotland, Australia and numerous provinces in Canada.

More information is at