'Viral' Tops 'Banished Words' List Terms Produced By Michigan University

By: Michael Stevens
Staff Writer
Published: Dec 31, 2021

'Viral' tops 'Banished Words' list at Michigan University. 'Viral' is the top leader of this year's list of "banished words" by Michigan University. The term is often used to describe popular one-hit wonders on YouTube.

The word garnered the majority of nominations for the annual list, which was released by Lake Superior State University on Friday. The term is often used to describe popular one-hit wonders on YouTube.

"This linguistic disease of a term must be quarantined," wrote Kuahmel Allah of Los Angeles after nominating "viral" for the university's list.

"If one more thing goes viral, I'm buying a Hazmat suit and moving into a clean-room," he said.

The university said that it receives over 1,000 submissions every year on its website for the list, which a public relations official started in 1976 in order to draw more attention to the school.

Viral was not the only digital-age term nominated. The terms "Fail" and "BFF" made the 2011 list, which also included a proposal to stop using Facebook and Google as verbs.