We all have them--words that drive us crazy when we hear them. Whether they're used incorrectly, used way too much, or are just annoying or redundant, certain words and phrases simply need to go away. It's a new year, so here are just some of the words we should leave in 2017.

Since 1976, Lake Superior State has released its annual List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness. The university receives nominations each year, consisting of "pet peeves from everyday speech, as well as from the news, technology, advertising, politics and more."

These are the words they loved to hate in 2017:


  • Misused word for analyze, consider, assess. Concepts or positions are not packed, so they don’t need to be unpacked.


  • Refers to an exaggerated quantity, as in tons of sunshine or tons of work. ‘Lots’ would surely suffice.

Let me ask you this

  •  Wholly unnecessary statement. Just ask the question already.


  • A frivolous word groping for something ‘effective’ or ‘influential.’

Hot water heater

  • Hot water does not need to be heated. ‘Water heater’ or ‘hot water maker’ will keep us out of hot water.

Drill down

  • Instead of expanding on a statement, we “drill down on it.”


  • An impulsive typo, born into a 140-character universe, somehow missed by the autocorrect feature.

Fake news

  • Once upon a time (like, 2016) stories could be empirically disproved. Now ‘fake news’ is any story you disagree with.

There are TONS more words to UNPACK. Get the full list here. Got any other suggestions? Comment below!