Lake Superior State University has released its 40th annual list of words to ban. We have a few we’d like to add as we cover Evanston news in 2015.

While the Lake Superior folk would like to ban “polar vortex,” “hack,” and “skill set,” we’d like to ban “going forward,”” these ones,” and “sort of.”

I first heard “going forward” while covering a session of the Evanston/Skokie District 65 school board.

It means “from now on,” but why can’t we just say that rather than the stilted “going forward”?

And kids, especially, like to say “these ones,” when “these” will more than suffice.

My wife cringes when a newscaster on television uses the term “sort of,” as in “the car was going sort of fast.”  Either it was going fast or it wasn’t. Why use “sort of”?

I’m sure many of our readers have their own words or phrases they would like to ban for mis-use, over-use and general uselessness. Why don’t you tell us in the “comments” section below the words or phrases you would like us to avoid in the new year?

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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  1. Phrases to throw in the Dumpster

    My nomination "tons of" as a lazy descripton of anything somehow uncountable.  Unless you are referring to the literal weight of something, describing by the ton means nothing.

  2. Can we avoid using ‘vaca’?

    I'd add 'vaca' to the list. Why would you want to make a vacation shorter?

    I submitted this to Lake Superior State for next year's list.

    1. In some places, “vaca” means
      In some places, “vaca” means “cow,” as in “¡No es mi vaca!”

  3. One word the city would like to ban

    "Bankrupt"   that is Wally does not want anyone to use this term – a while back one citizen would refer to the economic development activities and the TIFs as bankrupt.  While the city is not going to be declaring its bankrupt any time soon, it will keep on raising the tax and adding on more fees – we have seen this over the last five years with the city increasing water bills over 44%, and Wally claiming he had a gold mine to sell water.  If the water fund was a true enterprise fund as Wally calls it, it would collaspe without the Evanston rate payers subsidizing it.  As far as pension for the police and fire over 1/2 of the property tax revenue goes to pay them hardly a fact the city wants to advertise.

    And finally all the sill economic developement activity on Howard street – the latest – we own a coffee shop – that is Wally has us collecting 10% of the gross as part of this newest deal, how soon before this goes Bankrupt?

    1. Concerned Evanston Resident?

      So who is this "Concerned Evanston Resident" who has started posting recently?

      This person appears to be obsessed with Wally, and manages to work in "increasing water bills" into a post on a totally different subject.  This person also likes long run-on sentences, with poor spelling and grammar.

      Who could this possibly be?

    2. Illinois and Evanston next ?

      The current 'Economist' no less has an article about Illinois terrible financial status.  I assume Evanston will appear soon the way the Council and their 18th Century 'do nothing reasonable' supporters keep running us into the ground.

  4. Silly Requests
    I think will should just BAN Silly Requests. Like banning some verbal comments make. Obviously we know what they mean. Lets focus on more important things.

  5. words

    I think "banning" implies more intolerance of language diversity than the average Evanstonian is comfortable with, but I'd sure be happy if I never again heard someone "reached out to" someone else. Just say "called", "emailed", "contacted" or whatever. Don't make a simple act of communication sound like Cary Grant rescuing Eva Marie Saint as she hangs off the edge of Mount Rushmore at the end of North by Northwest. (oops…spoiler alert!)

    1. I agree about limiting the
      I agree about limiting the use of “reaching out”. There’s a bit of self-congratulatory altruism lurking in the phrase. A cousin to the word “outreach”.

    2. Ban ‘Like’
      The one I hear constantly from NU students esp. is ‘…Like…’ Sometimes it seems almost every other word. It can be funny to hear them.
      It seems to be a hold over from the ‘Valley Girls’ 20+ years ago.
      An employer hearing this constant ‘filler’ would assume the person can’t put a sentence together.

    1. After all, it’s their job

      I hear "not a problem' many times when something is a person's job and they do that job.

      They seem to think doing their job is something they do and is a favor to the client.

      1. Hasn’t that been replaced

        Hasn't that been replaced with "I got this"?  Wake up it is 2015 folks.

  6. Words/phrases that should be banned
    I “sort of” cringe when I hear people, especially newscasters, “spokespeople,” etc. who are supposed to know better confuse “there is” with “there are” when talking about numbers.

  7. What I don’t like…
    …is the use of the word “like” sprinkled liberally in spoken phrases. Example: “He was, like, interested in biology.”

    “Like” is a verb, preposition or adjective not a verbal placeholder.

  8. Holiday Tree

    There is only a small percentage of cities in this country that officially call a Christmas Tree a holiday tree. Maybe it is an embarrassment that Evanston can end in 2015.

  9. Most livable. Really?

    How about banning "most livable." Evanston's Vision Statement – "Creating the most livable city in America." I know people who moved out of Evanston because the taxes are too high.

    1. Less Livable, Reality

      Higher taxes and fees have certainly made Evanston less livable over the last several years. The City administration, schools,and library can make the city more livable by showing some restraint by lowering their spending habits.

  10. Already Taken Care Of
    The left has already taken care of banning words, not sure why LSSU study is newsworthy.

    It is called political “correctness” and if you do not adhere to it, then you will be punished! 😉

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