'Collusion' leads list of words to banish in 2019

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Merriam-Webster has selected "justice" as its 2018 word of the year. The announcement came days after the president's former "fixer," Michael Cohen, was sentenced to three years in prison. Other contenders for word of the year were "maverick," used to describe John McCain; "respect," used often after Aretha Franklin's death; Stan Lee's battle cry, "excelsior"; and "pansexual," after that's how Janelle Monae described herself.

If the wordsmiths at Lake Superior State University have their way, the vocabulary of President Donald Trump is going to shrink dramatically in 2019.

"Collusion" is among the list of 18 words the university in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, suggested should be banished from our collective vocabularies for overuse, misuse or general uselessness.

» 'Justice' is Merriam-Webster's word of the year for 2018   

It's a word Trump frequently uses, including in a Tweet posted Saturday, that went, in part: "The Russian Collusion fabrication is the greatest Hoax in the history of American politics. The only Russian Collusion was with Hillary and the Democrats!"

The list, which started in 1976 and included the word "macho," was the brainchild of W.T. Rabe, a public relations director at Lake Superior State University. It's been published every year since, with thousands of nominations coming in from across the country, as a way to vent about verbal crutches, pet peeves and phrases that translate like nails on a chalkboard.

Other words and phrases to make the list

  • Wheelhouse
  • In the books
  • Wrap my head around
  • Platform
  • OTUS
  • Ghosting
  • Yeet
  • Litigate
  • Grapple
  • Eschew
  • Crusty
  • Optics
  • Legally drunk
  • Thought Leader
  • Importantly
  • Accouterments
  • Most important election of our time

Other words that have made the list in the past decade: on fleek, manspreading, foodie, selfie, YOLO, ginormous, BFF, bromance and staycation.

To submit a word or phrase for next year's list, go to lssu.edu/banished.