It’s a new year, which is a fine excuse as any to ditch old bad habits. Here below, I have assembled a not-at-all exhaustive list of art-writing words that I could do without in 2015. I admit, I’ve been guilty myself of abusing some or all of them—but of course that’s what New Year’s resolutions are for.

4) challenges
Particularly in these usages: “challenges the viewer…” or “challenges ideas of….” Very few things are genuinely challenging, particularly when the art crowd is so very blasé about being challenged.

5) concerns
Artists are “concerned with issues of representation,” or “tackle concerns of authorship.” They are really “concerned” about these things! It’s super “concerning!”

6) controversial
There are artworks that really merit the label “controversial,” but the term is killed by overuse. Just because people are saying mean things about something on Facebook doesn’t mean it is “controversial.” It just means that it is on Facebook.

Link to the full list. (Required reading for AP Photo students)