In 1976, a group at Lake Superior State University, calling itself the 'Unicorn Hunters,'
released a "banished word list"
that cataloged words they felt should be banished from the English language "for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness." Every year since then this group has released an updated new list. Words and phrases for 2020 include 'Quid pro quo,' 'Artisanal,' and 'Mouthfeel'.
'Unicorn Hunters' is an odd name, and as far as I can tell, the origin of the name had nothing to do with the banished word list. It was invented by Wilmer T. Rabe, the public relations director at LSSU, who felt the school needed to let people know it was about more than just engineering. (It was best known, at the time, as a feeder school for Michigan Technical University). More info from the Des Moines Tribune
(Aug 2, 1976):
To emphasize the college's non-engineering aspects, Rabe proposed a 'poet's fortnight.' Professor Peter Thomas, Lake Superior's poet in residence, embellished the Rabe proposal and 'Unicorn Hunters' — later refined into Unicorns Ltd., Conglomerate — was born.
"From there," says Rabe, "it kind of just grew and began to embrace more and more things."
Loosely put, unicornism — Lake Superior State style — is an abstraction seemingly devoted to the pursuit of joy.
Conglomerate stationery explains: "The Hunters are dedicated to the proposition that every man has a unicorn which he is predestined to hunt. It is not necessary that he actually find or slay this unicorn, merely that he diligently seek it."
To this day, you can still download a Unicorn Hunting License
from the school's website. The Banished Word List was one of the ideas created by this group.
The irony is that, in recent years, the term 'Unicorn Hunters' has come to acquire a very different meaning. Googling the term now brings up this definition:
"Unicorn hunting" is where a male/female couple look to find one person who they can permanently invite into their relationship. They form a "triad" with the couple and the three people have group sex.
Maybe it's time for LSSU to add 'Unicorn Hunters' to its banished word list.