‘Viral’ and ‘Epic’ Make University’s 2011 List of Banished Words

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Image by © Arthur Baensch/Corbis

As we enter a new year, we relinquish people, things and places that we once thought were cool, in order to make way for the new.

Thanks to the linguistic vanguards at Lake Superior State University, and their list of banished words, we can also kick two overused words to the trendy stuff graveyard: “viral” and “epic.”

(See the top 10 buzzwords of 2010.)

The college, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, releases an annual list of words, expressions and phrases that have reached their limit in societal vernacular and should probably be laid to rest. It’s really telling when a commenter on “viral” mentions TIME’s own ‘That Viral Thing’ feature.

But the two words weren’t the only ones to make the 2011 list. Also included were: “wow factor,” “a-ha moment,” “BFF,” and “mama grizzlies.”

(See the top 10 viral videos of 2010.)

Now, it’s not likely that these words will completely disappear from the American lexicon, but LSSU has clearly put us all on warning that use of these words will henceforth be comparable to using terms like “lousy,”  “swell” and “gosh.”