Kick these words out of here!

Lake Superior State University in Michigan couldn’t have been more perfect with its selection of words that should — but won’t be — banned in 2015.

By the way, we proudly claim the Elusive Minnesota Connection on the list, since the annual tradition was started by W. T. Rabe, former public relations director at the university, and father of former MPR host John Rabe, who now toils for American Public Media in Pasadena. Close enough. It’s a Minnesota thing.

Here are this year’s words:

Polar vortex
Skill set
Friend raising
Enhanced interrogation
-Nation (when added as a suffix to sports teams’ names)

What did they miss?

  • Jeff C.

    -gate (when added as a suffix to an event that has the slightest hint of political controversy (i.e. Lattegate; Pointergate, etc.)

  • Nathan Anderson

    Never heard “Bae” before, or “friend raising” for that matter.

    • Kat S.

      I’ve heard “bae” fairly often– I just thought it was an even-shorter version of “babe.” That would have been annoying enough, but this is definitely worse.

  • Jerry

    What do they have against British Aerospace?

  • clost

    Cohort. I hate the way that word is being used now.

  • boB from WA

    Given that the word “Takeaway” is in there, does that mean John Hockenberry’s program “The Takeaway” need to change their name? What about fumble recoveries in football?

  • Jack


    “Why use two words when one will do? We already have a perfectly good word in ‘skills’ (ending with an s, not a z).” – Chip Lupo, Columbia, S.C.

    “A skill is a skill — that is it. Phrases such as ‘I have the skill set to do that properly’ or anything resembling that phrase, shows the speaker is seriously lacking skills in the art of conversation. Please try this, ‘I have the skill… do you have the skills… this requires certain skills… he is very skilled… that was a skillful maneuver… See? No need for a skill set.” – Stephanie Hamm-Wieczkiewicz, Litfield Park, Ariz.”
    People who boast their knife sets have a tendency to boast their skill sets, and boast them quite properly.