Canceled Words of 2020

Merriam-Webster announced their first-annual list of canceled words for 2020. In a twist from previous years, the dictionary people have decided that a multitude of words are finished. They demand that these never be used again unless in a historical perspective and with the appropriate trigger warning.

  1. Scaramucci: This has been declared the worst “word” to be introduced into the American vernacular since “fanny pack.” If you don’t know what “Scaramucci” refers to, then you’re one of the chosen few. Don’t Google it or ever use it, even if it’s your name. Just change your name; You’ll be better off.
  2. Sorry, not sorry: This was once used by edgy celebrities such as Snooki and Tony Danza for fake apologizes to fans and former lovers. However, it died a timely death when Wanna-Be-Diva Deborah Messing tweeted it to True-Diva J. Lo after they bumped into each other on the red carpet outside the Oscar awards. 
  3. Low hanging fruit: Dead since Mike Pence used it to describe his privates on Grindr.
  4. Think outside the box: This was recently brought to life by some east-coast-elites, such as Jeffrey Toobin, who continue to use it during ZOOM calls when describing sex. STOP IT!
  5. Boil the ocean: Trump heard this was possible after Chachi told him one weekend at Mar-a-Lago, “Think of all the hot water parties we can have. Chicks love that stuff.” DEAD.
  6. It is what it is: No explanation required.
  7. Curated: Everything is curated, dude. Stop using it like you’ve just invented fried chicken.

My personal favorite is “Don’t Take This Personally,” which is usually followed up by why someone doesn’t like your work or your clothes or anything else about you. How else should I take it? “Like a man?” which is number two on my list of dead words.




Jeff Harvey lives in San Diego CA and is working on his first novel. His short stories haveappeared in Stone of Madness Press, Salmon Creek Journal, Literary Yard, and Flash Fiction Magazine.Find him on Twitter @JeffHarveySD.

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Shawn Berman runs The Daily Drunk. You can follow him on Twitter @Sbb_writer.

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