2020 was a tough year full of words and phrases some of us would rather leave behind. One Detroit Associate Producer, Will Glover, cracks open Lake Superior State University’s annual list of banished words and guides us through this year’s contenders—words that have been deemed oxymoronic, redundant, and overused.


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Will Glover Since 1976, Lake Superior State University has compiled a list of words that, as they put it, are overworked, redundant, oxymoronic or cliched. So, let’s flatten the curve of words and see what our new normal will be. Coming in at number 10 is, “I Know, Right”, a nonsensical phrase where you assert and question whether you do indeed know. Number nine, “SUS”, short for suspicious from the game among us. It’s not part of my vocabulary, but I have a feeling this one might be among us for a while. Number 8, “Karen”, a moniker given to white women exhibiting racist behavior.

Will Glover Some say the term has become misogynistic, but to all the innocent Karens in the world, take solace in the fact that we’re not forced to wear nametags. I’m sure 7, 6, 5 and 4 are all words and phrases that we can definitely let go of. Which are unprecedented.

Media Voice Unprecedented times, unprecedented times, unprecedented times, this unprecedented moment.

Will Glover Pivot

Media Voice The pandemic is putting pressure on companies to pivot their business model

Will Glover In these uncertain times.

Media Voice During these uncertain times, during these uncertain times, uncertain times and uncertain times, uncertain times.

Will Glover And, “In an abundance of caution”, as a media professional, I feel attacked, but I understand, so in these uncertain times, I’ll do the unprecedented and pivot to the next phrase with an abundance of caution.

Will Glover  Number 3, “We’re all in this together”.

Media Voice  Together, together, together, together, together, together.

Will Glover  A phrase that was wiped away as soon as the toilet paper went out of stock. Number 2, “social distancing”. I’m not sure how we get rid of this one, but I’d rather be socially distant than unsocially close. Coming in at number 1 is covid-19, coronavirus, the rona. And although it would be amazing to watch this word slip back into the obscurity of medical vocabulary, until then, don’t forget to stay safe, stay healthy and wear your mask.