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New Year's Dishonor List Day: What is the New Year's Dishonor List Day?

Updated on November 28, 2009

About the Lake Superior State University Dishonor List

Since 1977, Lake Superior State University in Marie, Mich., has released its annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness on New Year's Day.

The list, which contains words heavily used in the media and throughout the U.S. in the year prior to publication, seeks to purge the words from every day use and out of public memory.

Started by the university's Public Relations Director W.T. (Bill) Rabe, New Year's Dishonor List Day received such media and public attention, the school decided to continue the tradition each year.

Why New Year's Day? Rabe, who formerly worked in the media industry, knew New Year's Day is typically a slow news day for media in Michigan, and across the country. The result of the New Year's Dishonor List Day and the publication of the Dishonor List has resulted in great publicity for the once lesser known Lake Superior State University.

According to the University web site, the first New Year's Dishonor List was created by Rabe at a holiday party in 1977 amongst friends, then published and distributed to the media.

Since Rabe's retirement in 1987, the list has become a staple of the university's publicity campaigns and attracts heavy media attention each year, including reports on CNN, the Associated Press and more.

In 2009, "carbon footprint," "Maverick," and "Staycation," were just three entries Lake Superior State University said should be purged from the Queen's English in the New Year's Dishonor List.

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