‘Selfie,’ ‘Hashtag’ Added to Banished Words List

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“Selfie” was named word of the year by Oxford Dictionary earlier this year, but it also received another more dubious distinction when it topped a list released Tuesday of the most annoying and overused words of 2013.


Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon talk hashtags during a skit on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. “Hashtags” was among the words “banished” by an annual Lake Superior State University list on Tuesday. (Credit: NBCUniversal)

The term, which is normally used to describe snapping a photo of oneself with a smartphone and posting it to social media, received the most nominations for Lake Superior State’s University 39th annual list of banished words, the Michigan university announced.

It was followed by “twerk/twerking,” “hashtag” and “Twittersphere.”

Other words that the university “banished” included “Mister Mom,” “Obamacare” and anything that ended with “-ageddon” and “-pocalypse.”

The “List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness” is compiled of nominations that the university receives throughout the year.

Tens of thousands of words have been nominated through the years, according to the university’s website. Nearly 1,000 words have been banned so far.

The list has been released every New Year’s Eve since 1976.