In this time of uncertainty — when inconsistency is the only consistency — I always enjoy the year-end lists that come with the flipping of the calendar.

The baby names or the best new tech. The songs of the year or the tributes to those we lost.

With those "best-of" and "worst-of" lists come forward-viewing New Year's resolutions and promises for better.

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I'm here for those, especially when we all need a reason to believe that 2022 will be better.

So as we combine the need to move beyond 2021 and make 2022 better, let's review some words/phrases that need to be cast aside as soon as possible.

— New normal. This one made the annual list of phrases that Lake Superior University in Michigan suggested banning, and they're spot on. I'm not sure our diction will alter our direction when it comes to COVID-19, but it's worth a try. Right? And let's be fair, there will be no new normal. There may be a next normal, but as soon as it becomes normal, it's no longer new, right?

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— I don't disagree. I've had to break this habit. And I'm still trying to break it. But reading this phrase makes it clear how much we need to be done with it, especially in a divided world like ours. Agree to agree. Agree to disagree. But agreeing to not disagree feels fractured from the start.

— Blind trust. OK, maybe this one is a little more Chattanooga focused, but can we get all of the folks who want to serve or are serving in public office to put their riches in a secluded place ASAP so those of us who will never need a blind trust don't have to wonder how cool it would be to need a blind trust? Deal?

— Anti-anything. Here's another example of doing away with the negative and embracing the positive. Let's not call them anti-vaxxers; let's go with shot indifferent. The 'anti' part is simply anti-productive.

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— Woke. Who has a good definition of this? And I'm not asking for a friend — which also is a phrase that Lake Superior thinks should be left in our rearview mirror. Woke is one of those rare words that started as one thing and then carried negative connotations for its original sentiment. In some ways, it feels like the "bad" — not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning good — nomenclature of the P.C. generations.

Well, I am 100% anti-that new normal folks.

Contact Jay Greeson at

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Jay Greeson