'Wait, what?' tops annual list of misused, overused, and useless phrases

A graphic showing the Top Ten words that made the Banished Words 2022 for Misuse, Overuse, and Uselessness list from Lake Superior State University. (Graphic Courtesy of Lake Superior State University)

CHIPPEWA COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- Lake Superior State University has released its annual list of Banished Words List.

For 2022, LSSU received more than 1,000 nominations of words and terms for banishment for misuse, overuse, and uselessness to help compile the list.

This year, nominations came from most major U.S. cities and many U.S. states, on top of Norway, Belgium, England, Scotland, Australia, and numerous provinces in Canada.

The list for 2022 includes:

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

Unlike the 2021 list, only three of the ten words included in the new list are COVID-19 related, including:

8. New normal

9. You’re on mute

10. Supply chain

“Say what you mean and mean what you say. Can’t get any easier, or harder, than that,” said LSSU President Dr. Rodney S. Hanley. “Every year submitters play hard at suggesting what words and terms to banish by paying close attention to what humanity utters and writes. Taking a deep dive at the end of the day and then circling back make perfect sense. Wait, what?”

For more about the Banished Words List and to nominate a word or term for banishment for 2023, go online to

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