Things That Make You Go HURRRGGGHH
August 28, 2015 6:22 PM   Subscribe

Do recipes for moist cakes make your skin clammy? Did that article about hardscrabble pugilists leave you nauseated? Do you feel super-embarrassed (YT) when you have to say completely innocent words like onus or cunning or bean curd out loud? Or even in writing? If so, you are far from alone! Word aversion, or logomisia, is an extremely common phenomenon that affects up to one in five (links to PDF) of us, and it's extremely contagious.

The ever-titillating Language Log has researched word aversion extensively for years (and their work on this topic was mentioned here previously in a broader conversation about the utility of disgust) but there are as many private lists of personal taboo words as there are people. Dancing around them can, in fact, be a daily social crisis for some people with autism, and the people who love them.
posted by jake (226 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
 
pink.
posted by limeonaire at 6:23 PM on August 28, 2015


Personal thoughts / editorial stuff / disclosures:

- This is my first FPP on the blue. I have been here for 14 years but have only lurked/commented, so I know how solid posts are supposed to be made, but I'm still nervous. Please let me know if you enjoyed the links and framing, or if I can improve!

- As I researched, it struck me that there seems to be substantial gendered baggage behind some of these words, especially as they relate to "shameful" bodily functions, or even allusions to them. I didn't want to editorialize too much in the FPP about this, but I think it's a fascinating angle!

- I had misgivings about posting, because just a few hours ago, as I read about this, I got excited and started my own subreddit for people to share their own stories. So obviously I wanted to clear up any potential worries about a conflict of interest or self-link; I'm not a linguist or researcher with "skin in the game," I'm just a regular guy who re-discovered this crazy thing and wants to discuss it both here and there!
posted by jake at 6:24 PM on August 28, 2015 [19 favorites]


Oh, I hate "cunning." I also hate "Aer Lingus," although I am not required to say that much. I refuse, categorically, to pronouce stupid menu item names, of the "Rooty Tooty Fresh n' Fruity" type.

"Stomachache," if you were to pronounce it sto MAHCH achee, would suddenly become the name of a minor enslaved female character in the Iliad, and perhaps be less disgusting.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:32 PM on August 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Wankel rotary engine.
posted by stevis23 at 6:33 PM on August 28, 2015 [20 favorites]


Hey, the word lotion has inexplicably bothered me for a long time, I never knew it was a thing other people experienced!
posted by maggiemaggie at 6:34 PM on August 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was not aware of this phenomenon until I saw it in an episode of How I Met Your Mother. [Barney exploits it in his one man show.]
posted by Pong74LS at 6:35 PM on August 28, 2015


See, my thing is that yeah, some words just sound gross or have awkward connotations, but then synesthesia also kicks in. To me, some words (like pink and pretty) are just ugly, all pink and gray and brown and red yech. Ugly is also an ugly word, all gray and brown and lavender.

It was kind of a breakthrough for me when I had to make a list of words I hate, then write a story using them, in a fiction-writing course. It felt really weird, but the story actually came out really well.
posted by limeonaire at 6:35 PM on August 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is a fantastic first post (or 100th post). I can't think of any words that I have an aversion to off the top of my head, but I have a feeling that there a handful where if I heard them I would immediately be like "oh, yes, right."
posted by 256 at 6:36 PM on August 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


As someone who reads a lot of astronomy-related articles, my pet peeve is the terminology many science journalists use to describe black holes:

"Massive black hole slurps/chomps/munches/engorges on orbiting star..."

Like, ew.
posted by surazal at 6:36 PM on August 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh, and "pleasure." Brrrr. It's anything but.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:37 PM on August 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Hahaha, a massive pulsating black hole, slurping up hot gas from a nearby dwarf

Man that was unpleasant to type
posted by jake at 6:40 PM on August 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


Fulgent.
posted by Zalzidrax at 6:41 PM on August 28, 2015


Where my "tasty"-haters at? Easily my most loathed word.
posted by town of cats at 6:41 PM on August 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


gusset.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:44 PM on August 28, 2015 [2 favorites]




Um, also, wow, those Language Log graphs are kinda NSFW.
posted by limeonaire at 6:44 PM on August 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


Creamy. The second my husband describes a cheese as "creamy" he gets to eat the whole wedge himself, because I can't even be in the same room with it after that. Ew ew ew ew ew ew ew.
posted by holborne at 6:53 PM on August 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


It's not one most people come across in daily life, but man, "sagittal" bothers me in ways I don't even care to unpack and examine.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 6:55 PM on August 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


"crown molding" just sounds gross... it's the two definitions of "mold"...

my affinity for puns opens up a lot of things like that.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:55 PM on August 28, 2015


Scampi. Panties. Lover.
posted by jimmythefish at 6:56 PM on August 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


I genuinely despise the word "cuddle"
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:58 PM on August 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Dongle.
posted by workerant at 6:58 PM on August 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


I could easily develop an aversion to the word 'aversion', but then what would I call it?
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:58 PM on August 28, 2015


I don't know man. 30 some years without hearing a single complaint about "moist" and in the last 18 months its suddenly hated like poison ivy or Hitler.

I blame Facebook.
posted by sourwookie at 6:59 PM on August 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


It's not really the word "moist", it's the way that presenters on the Food Network over-enunciate the word "moist".
posted by murphy slaw at 7:00 PM on August 28, 2015


sounding similar to the dreaded Moist: "hoist by my/your own petard" ... two odd words in one grossly awkward phrase
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:02 PM on August 28, 2015


My response to people whining about moist is...flaccid.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:04 PM on August 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


custard
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:04 PM on August 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


panties!
Thus in my own house there are only underwear and stockings. There is no need for that word.

But for me, it ends up being quite a lot of multisyllabic words that have the long e.
posted by Tandem Affinity at 7:06 PM on August 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


I hate the word "blouse." It sounds like something no decent person should wear, ever.
posted by backwards compatible at 7:07 PM on August 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


custard

Is it transitive? How about bustard?
posted by pullayup at 7:08 PM on August 28, 2015


panties: no, just no.

undies is ok though.
posted by maggiemaggie at 7:10 PM on August 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Do you feel super-embarrassed (YT) when you have to say completely innocent words like onus or cunning

If you can't say "cunning," then how do you come up with cunning plans?

"Moist" is an unpleasant word but whenever I see it I just say "cellar door" and all is well.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:11 PM on August 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I hate "panties" because it is the word that the creepers at the laundromat use to indicate that they would like to watch you fold yours.
posted by corey flood at 7:11 PM on August 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


"Scrabbling." As in "The mouse was scrabbling in the wall." Uggggggh, I can just hear it back there scratching and gaaaaaaah

I also dislike the feel of some other words with too many Bs, like "blubber" or "bobble," where you say both Bs in the middle, although they don't freak me out like "scrabbling." Just make me go "yuck, ugly word."

My college roommate would literally shiver with revulsion when I said "frou-frou."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:14 PM on August 28, 2015


one of my life's greatest pleasures is loudly comparing repulsively hot humid vile sweaty revolting nyc summer days to "being trapped in a MOIST ORIFICE" because it makes everyone within earshot so angry and unhappy and uncomfortable and disgusted

my GOD how i cherish those moments
posted by poffin boffin at 7:15 PM on August 28, 2015 [34 favorites]


nougat
posted by foxfirefey at 7:16 PM on August 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Slather.
posted by Sunshower at 7:17 PM on August 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Mouthfeel?
posted by Songdog at 7:17 PM on August 28, 2015 [19 favorites]


I hate panty too! Apparently I even hate typing it.

Right now though my current most actively despised word is...sammich (shudder). A new sandwich shop opened near my house called Epic *that word* Co. It's gotten lovely reviews and word of mouth, but I just want to smash things whenever I think about the name.
posted by chaoticgood at 7:19 PM on August 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


Just recently, my son's girlfriend revealed that she, too, gets the willies at the utterance of "moist". Until then, the only other person I knew of who hated "moist" was Joy Lass.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:22 PM on August 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Totally hate panties! Ick! Why are they called that?

Chaoticgood I read too fast and thought there was a shop near your house named Epic Panty. Which sold sandwiches.
posted by bunderful at 7:22 PM on August 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Noooooo poffin how did you work up the courage to be that bold?!

We had a substitute teacher for Phys Ed once, and we were playing kickball, and one kid totally air-balled the kickball over a fence, and the counselor called him an "Anal Crotch" and I got so flustered I made up excuses to avoid future kickball games. This is why I'm fat now. Because of Mr. Verona.

Oh god "Verona" *retch*

I still remember this like it was yesterday
posted by jake at 7:24 PM on August 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Impactful. The word gives me the tactile sensation of chewing on a massive fluffy wad of pink wall insulation.
posted by pernoctalian at 7:25 PM on August 28, 2015 [12 favorites]


I also dislike the feel of some other words with too many Bs, like "blubber" or "bobble...

BULBOUS BOUFFANT
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:26 PM on August 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


"Myriad" makes me feel homicidal.
posted by gottabefunky at 7:29 PM on August 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Wet pop" is another, but that's probably because Stephen King used it to describe a limb being torn off in a book I read when I was 12.
posted by gottabefunky at 7:30 PM on August 28, 2015


pink

peeeenk
posted by en forme de poire at 7:34 PM on August 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Schlep
posted by gottabefunky at 7:36 PM on August 28, 2015


Noooooo poffin how did you work up the courage to be that bold?!

i prefer to think of it as cruelty rather than boldness
posted by poffin boffin at 7:36 PM on August 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


[muffled vincent price laughter in the distance]
posted by poffin boffin at 7:37 PM on August 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


I hate "panties" because it is the word that the creepers at the laundromat use to indicate that they would like to watch you fold yours.



Aaand that's my horrifying unexamined privilege moment for the day.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:37 PM on August 28, 2015 [17 favorites]


Pustulent/pustulence. Uuuuggggghhhhhh. I have to tell myself pretty words to get the (metaphorical, I'm not synaesthetic) gross taste of that out of my mouth.
posted by yasaman at 7:39 PM on August 28, 2015


I can't think of a single word I don't like.

The only thing that makes me shudder is the term "open the kimono," but that's because I've only ever heard it said by old white rich boss-type guys who you can tell are getting off on the idea of alluding to female nudity in a business meeting.
posted by sallybrown at 7:43 PM on August 28, 2015 [14 favorites]


I counteract "open the kimono" by pretending in my mind that I'm Jame Gumb in Silence of the Lambs.

"Really? Well...OK!" *Goodbye Horses*
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:46 PM on August 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


Thigh and eighth
posted by Quilford at 7:46 PM on August 28, 2015


yes but I don't want to type them.
posted by Glinn at 7:47 PM on August 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Myriad" makes me feel homicidal.

Well, it is an Adobe creation, so...
posted by Thorzdad at 7:48 PM on August 28, 2015


Mouthfeel?

Ugh. I despise this word for at least two reasons, the first one being commercial/sociological, in that it's a ghastly metric used by food scientists who to my mind are precisely the opposite of chefs, when designing things WHICH ARE NOT WHAT A REAL HUMAN WOULD CALL FOOD. And second because I really, really don't want to imagine you feeling something with your mouth.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:48 PM on August 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


yes but I don't want to type them.

HAHA! I don't want to thread-sit but I wanted to ask if there's anyone else reading this, or even commenting, who is TOO ashamed to even type the words they REALLY dislike here?

(I am. You're only getting like 5 out of 50, there's no way I'm typing the others without a gram of weed in me. I would sooner post a nude selfie right here than utter most of these words, and sorry boys, not tonight.)
posted by jake at 7:59 PM on August 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


While there are certainly words I avoid because of their connotations, there are no words I find innately revolting. This is just one more phenomenon that makes me feel separated from the rest of the human race.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:10 PM on August 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


there are no words I find innately revolting.
posted by Faint of Butt


that sounds kinda eponysterical...
(which is a word I DO like)
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:15 PM on August 28, 2015


No word will ever bother me as much as "methinks". Jesus, just writing it makes me see red.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:15 PM on August 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


George_Spiggott: "WHICH ARE NOT WHAT A REAL HUMAN WOULD CALL FOOD"

My personal pet peeve is when use "things that can not really be considered part of their obvious category" when they really mean "things I don't like".
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:19 PM on August 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


For some odd reason, the only word that really makes me squirm, and I mean like squicked even when other people say it, is "silly." Ugh. Not too fond of "hop."
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:24 PM on August 28, 2015


Plump.

Ugh, it makes me think of pump and lump and just NO.
posted by 1066 at 8:26 PM on August 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


So, do I have some kind of superpower for not having an aversion to any if these these words? Sorta like not having that "fear of small holes" thing?
posted by picklenickle at 8:28 PM on August 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


jake, you are a very effective lurker, as this looks like post made by someone who's been doing them for a long time.

As for the subject, I must have a very different relationship to language than most of you people here, as I can find interesting and enjoyable things about most of the words people are being bothered by.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:34 PM on August 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Half of my vocabulary I'm averse to using, and can't help but look down on people who don't share my highly idiosyncratic prejudices.

Also, seconding the hatred for mouthfeel. It's the only word used so far in this thread I personally have it out for.
posted by JHarris at 8:34 PM on August 28, 2015


TASTY -- can not even sing along to that one line in that Hozier song ughhHHhhh so embarrassing
posted by shepard at 8:37 PM on August 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mouthfeel: we have a best-selling vegetable that could be replaced by dressing dispensers if it weren't for the mouthfeel. Yes, iceberg lettuce is a mouthfeel ingredient and serves no other purpose.
posted by idiopath at 8:38 PM on August 28, 2015


Do not say 'tasty.' Especially fucking do not say 'tasty treat.' There aren't enough shudders in the world.
posted by hap_hazard at 8:39 PM on August 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


Plump... makes me think of pump and lump
leading to dump, jump, Gump, mump and the worst -ump of them all, Trump.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:43 PM on August 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


idk, there are words that aren't really peeves on their own, or at least only mildly so, until certain people use them and then i'm just like THIS WORLD MUST NOW END IN FIRE AND RUIN FOR I CANNOT BEAR ANOTHER MOMENT OF THIS AGONIZING EXISTENCE

i feel like if i reveal the words then the individuals will become obvious and calling them out is not really my intent, FOR ONCE, so this shall all just continue to fester within me, pustulant and oozing
posted by poffin boffin at 8:46 PM on August 28, 2015


do not say 'tasty treat.' There aren't enough shudders in the world.

It invariably makes me think of Bob Dylan singing it in the Traveling Wilburys on 'Dirty World'. Which surely must redeem it somehow.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:52 PM on August 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


No collection of cringeworthy*/disgusting/ugly/uncomfortable words right now is complete without some of the Oxford Dictionary's new batch of words in their online collection of informal slang.
From "Awesomesauce" to "Weaksauce", plus "Brainfart", "Buttdial", "Fatberg" (especially when you read the definition), "Hangry", "Manspreading" and "Rando", there's something for everybody's distaste.

*my apologies to any of you who cringe at the word 'cringe
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:53 PM on August 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't have this condition about any words, so I can never tell in conversations like this one whether people are exaggerating for effect, or if they really mind a word that much. I can't imagine feeling disgusted at a word; mildly annoyed, sure, like any pet peeve (see corporatespeak, which just makes me think the speaker is a moron), but not actually physically bothered.

What do you do about this? I mean, it's not like you can expect to walk around and not occasionally hear someone use some perfectly cromulent word in your presence.
posted by axiom at 8:54 PM on August 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Half-baked linguistic analysis:

I'm surprised more work doesn't get done on the simple phonemes of the words, and particularly in relation to particular words being culturally-specific. I feel like I hear a lot of the words here have "uh" sounds in them (moist being an exception, obviously). In the story by the mom of an autistic kid, it seemed pretty obvious that he didn't like combinations of voiced and unvoiced consonants (ess and em, en and hhhh) or multiple voiced consonants (en and em, gee and en). Anyone have data on this?

In closing: smegma.
posted by gusandrews at 8:56 PM on August 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


life is like a poopicane here in fatberg
posted by poffin boffin at 9:02 PM on August 28, 2015


Boobies.

Really? A grown woman has boobies? Well, then can I touch your cooter?
posted by Samizdata at 9:03 PM on August 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Nourishing, as in spiritually nourishing. There is a smugness in it, like "I know what's better for your soul than you do."

And bee-yotch. If you're going to say that word, just say it already.
posted by datawrangler at 9:04 PM on August 28, 2015


A lot of cutesy euphemisms really bother me, sometimes because of how they sound but usually because of the way they butcher language. Vajayjay is a word that offends on both counts, for example.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:12 PM on August 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


My sensitive friend who likes to (half jokingly) tell me which words and phrases are too gross for me to say in her presence recently drew the line at "bread party."

Bread party, bread party, bread party.

I don't get it.
posted by deludingmyself at 9:15 PM on August 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ahem...TRIGGER WARNING

As the Aer Lingus pilot leaned over to give his lover a cuddle, his flaccid member plumped to engulf the moist orifice of his jeans' gusset as the frou frou of her satin blouse pleasurably caressed his thigh. He slathered his fulgent spoon with the moist, pink custardy nougat and cunningly inserted it into her moist orifice with a wet pop.

"Tasty treat! The mouthfeel is pure pleasure!" she said as he glanced up at the myriad crown moldings.

"Methinks we should schlep back to the RX-7, fire up the Wankel Rotary Engine and head back to the bread party."

As he thought of the vajajay in her panties and her boobies, the pustulent smegma-slathered lump in his pants threatening to hoist him by his own petard. He longed to have his finger scrabble down her saggital line to her cooter. It would be so spiritually nourishing to caress this bee-yotch's anal crotch with his fingers, stomachache from the scampi notwithstanding.
posted by jimmythefish at 9:17 PM on August 28, 2015 [63 favorites]


deludingmyself, Urban Dictionary has the answer for you (NSFW).

On preview: jimmythefish, cut that out or I'll pelt you with outdated gefilte fish.
posted by datawrangler at 9:19 PM on August 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


You're a terrible person.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:20 PM on August 28, 2015


jimmythefish: congratulations, you've discovered the opposite of erotica.
posted by murphy slaw at 9:22 PM on August 28, 2015 [27 favorites]


niggardly
posted by agog at 9:29 PM on August 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Relevant Oglaf (Content warning: NSFW images, possibly NSFL vocabulary)
posted by J.K. Seazer at 9:29 PM on August 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


Fecundity

blecch my eyes want to be washed every time I read it
posted by discopolo at 9:30 PM on August 28, 2015


sourwookie: I don't know man. 30 some years without hearing a single complaint about "moist" and in the last 18 months its suddenly hated like poison ivy or Hitler.

I blame Facebook.


I figure this is something that makes most people secretly writhe, but not the point of telling large groups of people. Facebook and other sources allow people to quietly share their feelings, where others can chime in and the discussion grows beyond a momentary "huh, you too?" discussion into something bigger. Add in the potentially contagious aspect (kiss is kill, kiss is kill, kiss is kill), and it makes sense that social media allows these discussions to spread.

That said, I knew someone who hated the word "moist," so it's not completely made up by people chiming in on social media. She was the director of a large volunteer organization, and this group often made fun of their own members, so everyone knew she didn't like the word moist. I think some people agreed that the word made them feel squicked out, but it didn't really spread to the group at large. (And we didn't use it as a running joke, but rather it was one of many one-off joke comments that got thrown out from time to time.)
posted by filthy light thief at 9:30 PM on August 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


So is this isolated to English? I'm curious if people speaking other languages have these kinds of word aversions, and also if there's any crossover with the sounds in those words.
posted by picklenickle at 9:33 PM on August 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


Also, is the fact that a lot of these words have sexual connotations or are often used in a sexual context indicative of an aversion to sex or is it more that our culture's weirdness about sex results in crappy, not-sexy, often childish/gross/otherworldly words like "pussy" "boobies" "vajayjay" "panties" and, apparently, "moist"?
posted by picklenickle at 9:39 PM on August 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Pulchritude. Bucolic.
posted by oedipuss at 9:39 PM on August 28, 2015


Sometimes it's just the way one word reminds you of another, like the Planetary King of Uncomfortableness... Uranus. Which, when pronounced correctly (with the emphasis on the first syllable), changes from a soundalike for 'anus' to a soundalike for 'urine'. YOU CAN'T WIN.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:42 PM on August 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm disgusted by words - basically simple, childish words - for bad smells. I blanched when my nephew ran around the house yelling "P.U., Stinks!" over and over with delight. And not only in English; I remember being appalled when a woman I knew in Nice took a deep whiff of some ripe cheese and declared with satisfaction "Ça pue!"
posted by Auden at 9:55 PM on August 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


datawrangler, that's indeed nsfw, gross, and like many Urban Dictionary entries, plausibly just the product of a 12 year old's imagination. It was definitely not the source of my friend's discomfort with the term, which she thought "just sounds gross together like that."
posted by deludingmyself at 10:06 PM on August 28, 2015


I have a physical reaction to hearing to words gherkin and boondogggle. RAGE!!!
posted by just_ducky at 10:10 PM on August 28, 2015 [1 favorite]




Sac. Can't stand to type it or hear it said aloud. Which is bad, because I'm a medical writer.
posted by memewit at 10:22 PM on August 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


I like most of the words being listed. They are fun words. (Pulchritude? C'mon, that's a great word!) There are some words I hate, but not as a visceral reaction to the sounds involved:

zany, wacky
vape/ing (I "e-smoke", tyvm)
optics (as in "the optics of a situation", fuck that and fuck anyone for saying that)

I can't think of any words I hate just because of their sound. All the words with weird sounds are interesting-sounding words.
posted by rifflesby at 10:26 PM on August 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


weird. I definitely don't have this. I cannot think of a word to which I have a visceral reaction. there are words I find annoying or stupid (temblor comes to mind) but nothing to induce a shudder.

a word I love that might sound creepy but means something beautiful: crepuscular mmmmm!
posted by supermedusa at 10:36 PM on August 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


> optics (as in "the optics of a situation", fuck that and fuck anyone for saying that)

I could swear that people used to say "imagery" or "image" where they now say "optics". It was like one day I woke up and everybody was using "optics" and I must have missed the meeting where we all agreed on the change.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:47 PM on August 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Some that are mostly online, but still inspire visceral aversion - 'squee', 'cis', 'feels', 'ugh'. Do I need to hear you grunting and/or squealing in your text-only internet comment?

Also, while I'm probably pissing half the room off, 'fecal'. Never liked the word, and now I have to use special software to continue to avoid seeing it all the damned time.

Some of the Forbidden Words are or seem to be exquisitely personalized- there's one particular person who told me once several years ago "(me and somebody else) are going to go out and have a delicious cocktail" and something about it seemed so preposterous to me that I can hardly use the word any more. But maybe only if it's part of the phrase, or maybe only if it's her saying it.
posted by hap_hazard at 10:59 PM on August 28, 2015


Wankel rotary engine.

I keep toying with the idea of getting GRUNTIES on my license plates. NY even says it's available, but pushing $100 for a dumb gag seems like a lot.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:07 PM on August 28, 2015


Reconnoiter. ReconNOOYYYYter.

Oddly, I'm ok with "moist," though.
posted by thebrokedown at 11:13 PM on August 28, 2015


I'm going to go the opposite direction. You know what word I love? "Today", because if you switch the "d" and the "a" it becomes "toady" and amphibians are awesome. So every time I hear the word "today" I start thinking about frogs and my mood improves. Yay words!
posted by Literaryhero at 11:20 PM on August 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Lucas had an absolute knack for coming up with words that just irritate the fuck out of me. Bantha. Boba. Fett. Tauntaun. Midichlorians. Chewbacca. Calrissian. Dooku. Aaaaaargh....

Dantooine is a good one though. Alderaan would be too if it wasn't basically Aldebaran with a couple of letters dropped. And of course I always think Princess Amygdala.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:21 PM on August 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Belly.
posted by good in a vacuum at 11:24 PM on August 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Infotainment.
posted by falcon at 11:46 PM on August 28, 2015


Check it out

Middle school. Seventh grade. Wise guy / class clown, but emotionally fragile and sexually furious and the person that makes this kind of ridiculous FPP as a kid, okay?

There was a girl I super liked in my science class. Like obsessed every day. Like Spandau Ballet - True playing every single day. Like Christopher Mintz-Plasse could have been playing my role imagine it.
Human sexuality part of the course.
Let's read out loud from the book.
Jake?

Penis.
Vagina.
Anus.
Clitoris.
Labia.
Testicles.
Semen.
All
On
One
PAGE
FUCK!!!!!!!

(Note these are not my words at all, I fuckin love sex words I don't give two cervices)

Okay I'm out have fun all you pinky-winky snorble-borble jumbo giant word buttholes
posted by jake at 11:55 PM on August 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Did you just call me snorble-borble?!?
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:58 PM on August 28, 2015


(I mean they're not my words ANYMORE, but dear god they certainly were back then, I would look up "penis" in the dictionary and just stare at it like absorbing its dark arousing ponderousness)
Okay later definitely sleep time, only good dreams.
posted by jake at 12:01 AM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Yummy."

Just go ahead and kill me why don't you.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 12:38 AM on August 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


And "delish". This cake is yummy and delish.

I'm basically just sitting here mentally scanning a dictionary titled 'Words that Belong to My Mother'.

One time I finished eating something, something prosaic like a breaded pork chop in 1976, and she said, 'You really wolfed that down!'

She's lucky to be alive.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 12:42 AM on August 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wow finally a phobia I don't even remotely have


Is this how normal people feel?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:49 AM on August 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


I don't understand how we've got so far without "nom" (repeated for eating) being mentioned. I will cut you. You're not the Cookie Monster.

Also "delicious" is a pretty bad word anyway, but if you ever use it about something that's not food, be aware that I can taste vomit as I read your sentence.
posted by howfar at 1:21 AM on August 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


On reflection, I think it's the childishness of the -ies suffix combined with perceived sexualised language that makes me queasy.

So no titties, puppies or boobies; panties or scanties; rudies or rubbies. Hell, throw dickies on the bonfire too for good measure.
posted by comealongpole at 1:28 AM on August 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Business buzzwords make me homicidal. Stuff like:
Circle back
Reach out
Synergy
Hit the ground running - and many more.

most hated non-buzzword:
Puce.
And this is before I checked out the etymology. Ugh.
posted by Klaxon Aoooogah at 1:28 AM on August 29, 2015


Moist was a perfectly lovely word for centuries, until a bunch of weirdo moist-phobes came along with this meme that moist is an awful word that must never be used. As somebody who makes her living writing smut, THANKS A WHOLE FREAKING LOT, weirdo moist-phobes! It's a real pain in the ass to have to constantly find synonyms for moist, because most of the synonyms sound gross in exactly the way that moist does not. (Seriously: Humid. Muggy. Drippy. Oozing. Not dry. Feeling horny, yet?)

Some days I almost wanna walk into the Buzzfeed HQ wearing a fedora and a shirt that says moist in comic sans, and watch their heads explode like in Scanners.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:44 AM on August 29, 2015 [12 favorites]


Oh and yuk to mauve when pronounced MORV.

Yes, this is a most thing.
posted by comealongpole at 1:45 AM on August 29, 2015


(Supperating is right out).
posted by comealongpole at 1:47 AM on August 29, 2015


Fun, interesting post, jake!

I love language and a robust vocabulary, and yet have always been irked by a handful of words such as "puberty" but had no idea this was a thing. Thanks for the enlightenment!
posted by kinnakeet at 2:41 AM on August 29, 2015


"cellar door"

See, I don't get all the "cellar door" love. To me it sounds all slithery and viscous and tentacle-y.

The people who call it the most beautiful phrase in English are all probably weird Lovecraftian hybrid fish-people.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:54 AM on August 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


A lot of my word-aversions are related to the word being an Americanism, and I resent it partly because I am British and therefore hate the implication that I am expected to use the American term just because I am a minority on the internet.
Of course, some of the, are just sickly. Especially the 'mumsy' ones you see on Pinterest, like 'fancy', or even worse, 'fancy-dancy'. And yes, I hate the word 'panties' too.
And pretty much anything with the suffix '-ie' like 'baggie', it just sounds so infantile.
Oh, hell, you got me started now.
posted by HypotheticalWoman at 3:12 AM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can no longer remember the specifics, but when I was a small child, as best I could tell, I got yelled at by an adult for calling a piece of furniture a couch instead of a sofa. You'd have thought I had used the most unprintable of swear words.
But I can't do it. "Sofa" is one of those words that makes people sound to me like they have a horrible mouth deformity, and I can only make myself say it when I'm talking about how much I hate saying it. (Not mouth-deformity-ist)

Another one is when people call their grandfather "Pap". Jesus, don't DO that! It reminds me of that awful genie from the Hanna-Barbera cartoons, with his "apple-sapple" mouth farts.

I am amazed I can't think of a lot more.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 3:13 AM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah: Vape.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 3:14 AM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Bob Dylan singing it in the Traveling Wilburys on 'Dirty World'. Which surely must redeem it somehow.

No, it certainly doesn't. And I love Dylan, too, but no.

I think it's weird that there are people who don't have any of these. I feel really strongly about the ones I've mentioned and about half the ones other people did, too. I mean, I love the English language, but there are good parts of it- that's like 99.9% possibly- and then theres the rest of these trash words which I'll thank you to never bring up or else you're a bad person.

What's so weird about that?
posted by hap_hazard at 3:19 AM on August 29, 2015


Klaxon Aoooogah, if we're going for the usage rather than the sound, and business usage in particular, "get back with" has replaced "talk to" in the office where I work: "get back with him about the upcoming lecture," instead of "talk to him about the upcoming lecture." Just stop that already, people.
posted by datawrangler at 4:02 AM on August 29, 2015


Not sure how English ended up with such fugly words for "Breakfast", "Lunch" and "Dinner”. Just hearing them is enough to put me off my food, let alone having to say them.

Although none of them are quite as disgusting as "Supper".
posted by moorooka at 4:17 AM on August 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Moist was a perfectly lovely word for centuries, until a bunch of weirdo moist-phobes came along with this meme that moist is an awful word that must never be used.

I blame Mean Girls. And i flat out refuse to believe that 90% of the people who hate that word hated it before that movie came out.

This is my like, loose change 9/11 conspiracy theory sort of thing. No amount of "but i hated it in 1995!" will ever convince me. I was starting high school when that movie came out, and i watched that shit happen. Suddenly everyone was meme-ing on about how awful it was and directly quoting the movie. It was just as bad as the rampant napolean dynamite quoting/jokes were, but that went away fairly quickly and this never left.

I honestly think a bunch of people have forgotten that the movie is what taught them to hate the word now that it's been 11 years. But yes, really, i am just incapable of believing that isn't what started it.
posted by emptythought at 4:28 AM on August 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Anything that have to do with milk and byproducts of milk give me nausea.
Also voluptuous (erk!).
posted by SageLeVoid at 4:37 AM on August 29, 2015


I think it's weird that there are people who don't have any of these.

I actually also think it's weird that so far I can't think of a single word I've had any kind of visceral reaction to, especially because I probably do have some degree of misophonia and you might imagine those would go together. The things that set me off are more like open-mouthed chewing/smacking sounds, or thin plastic/foil bags being endlessly manhandled; a quiet room that just has someone wetly chomping a sandwich in the corner is enough to make me want to start a fight. So I can at least intellectually understand a word having a similar effect on someone.
posted by en forme de poire at 4:46 AM on August 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


A lot of my word-aversions are related to the word being an Americanism

See, as a British person, the idea of "Americanism" is pretty irritating to me. It feels like a form of prescriptivism, founded on the idea that one current form of British English is authentic and all other dialects and related languages are derivative and secondary, or even wrong. Also, many features of American English (e.g. "ize" spellings "normalcy", "'erb" for "herb") are parts of British English that have just fallen out of fashion, anyway.
posted by howfar at 4:46 AM on August 29, 2015


Well, there are some who aren't that comfortable with "nuance."
posted by the sobsister at 5:28 AM on August 29, 2015


I don't understand how we've got so far without "nom" (repeated for eating) being mentioned. I will cut you. You're not the Cookie Monster.

I dislike that word almost as much as I dislike the recent spread of the word "fap," but I am guessing that "nom" traces to "nyam" ("to eat"), either from Caribbean creoles or directly from West Africa, which at least gives it a more interesting etymology than most of the awful slang words that have been mentioned.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:42 AM on August 29, 2015


Panties. Sock. Copper. Apple. Clearly (which I probably hate because I had a mild stutter during adolescence and could not get it out). Lube. Poot (THE WORST).Nosh. Nude.
posted by thivaia at 5:55 AM on August 29, 2015


That said, though I'm okay with most words, I despise "kiddos," as in, one's children. And I'm seeing it everywhere. Not sure what's caused this violent propagation, but it needs to stop, like, yesterday.
posted by the sobsister at 5:59 AM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I used to have a strong letter aversion as a child: I hated words with too many Bs, Gs and Hs. I wasn't too keen on Us either. But that was when I was eight. I think I just grew out of it slowly - no idea exactly how or why.

Nowadays the usual suspect words have no effect on me. I'd quite happily listen to the Moist Panties podcast all day. But I do hate "prideful" and "impactful" so, so much, though it's more because they're ugly, ugly words, not disgusting to me as such. My dislike is like the dislike I feel when looking at an ugly sixties concrete building, not the disgust I'd feel if there were a cowpat on my bedspread.
posted by Rissa at 6:26 AM on August 29, 2015


"treat" really gets my back up (but only as a noun, and especially when used for something that isn't dog food). I think it started because I parsed someone describing some sort of musical performance as a "treat" to mean that it was some kind of pavlovian reward for strict obedience; it made me want to paint my rebellion all over the room in blood and viscera.

I'm hit-or-miss on "panties", but my stomach does a backflip at "pantyhose". I think it was an episode of the Bill&Ted series where some Ned Flanders-esque character described the promise of wealth as "ladies walkin' around in their pyeeeanniehoeze".

I had a friend in university who couldn't stand "dollop".

I've upvoted the one that's too similar to an n-bomb above, but I have to add the spelling of "snicker" that contains two 'g's to the same list. It's actually just n4r with a stupid 's' in front! Why do we keep this word around?

I can't stand the word "poo" when whispered, but I don't mind it when voiced. I get a weird synæsthesia when it's whispered that causes me to hold my breath to avoid smelling it.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 6:27 AM on August 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I hate "awesomesauce" and its evil cousin "amazeballs," but it's a different sort of an aversion than the aversion to "moist" to "creamy" or what have you. Those two don't make me cringe; they're just unbearably twee. I have a friend who uses one of those almost daily on Facebook and I really just want to unfollow her for it but we've known each other since we were six so I feel too guilty to actually do it but aaaaaaarrrgggh.
posted by holborne at 6:32 AM on August 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


There are words & phrases I dislike because of their misuse by others or because they evoke connotations that bother or disturb me. But none of that comes from the words themselves. I love you all like brothers & sisters but you are all deeply, deeply weird.
posted by scalefree at 6:33 AM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not sure how English ended up with such fugly words for "Breakfast", "Lunch" and "Dinner”.

See, I don't get that at all. Breakfast is one of those lovely compound English words that keeps all its components intact, like roughshod or breakwater or even wilderness (from wildēornes, a wild-animal-place). It tells you what it does: you break your fast. French and Spanish have more or less exact cognates with déjeuner and desayuno: literally in both languages you cease your fast. German gets a bit odder with Frühstück, the early-piece. Danish goes for the sensible morgenmat, morning-food. I like breakfast, the word and the thing, and I don`t think I am saying that because I just had it.

I find this whole thread a bit odd. There are certain turns of phrase that I don't care for for whatever reason -- my opposition to touch and go is on record -- but individual words? On preview, like scalefree above, I am okay with them all equally. The thread is eye-opening for anyone with even a trace of social anxiety, though: how often have I sent someone into paroxysms of agony by carelessly saying bend or echo? It as all very Knights-Who-Say-Ni.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:38 AM on August 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


Flavorful.
posted by LindsayIrene at 6:47 AM on August 29, 2015


GOITER
SMEGMA
CYST
SLATTERN
PESHMERGA
GURNEY
KNURLED
and the following idiotic portmanteaus
GLITTERATI
CELEBUTANTE
MANTOURAGE
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 6:48 AM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh and CRAY-CRAY

and the IRRAWADDY RIVER
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 6:55 AM on August 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


SO GLAD I'm not the only one to find "mouthfeel" infuriating.

Also I harbor hate in my heart for "nuptial."
posted by Sokka shot first at 7:27 AM on August 29, 2015


"Krispy Kreme".

The name's "we changed all spellings as an end-run around the FDA pointing out that we use no actual food" aspect aside, if your "crème" has gone "crispy" you are poisoning your customers.

Second runner up in this category: Krusteaz brand pancake mix. First of all, who the deuce can't just mix up baking powder salt and flour? You need someone to pre-package this mix for you? But yeah, second, that name sounds like a medical symptom.

Of course, this reminds me that my mother couldn't stand us calling chintzy things "cheesy" because she worked for a medical insurance company: the word that followed "cheesy" in her business was always "discharge".
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 7:35 AM on August 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


the other day, I was rolling past a tech place in my hood and I saw that some guys had been hired to paint a giant COMPUTER REPAIR on the door

only when I rolled by, the first three letters had been filled in and it said CUMputer

I stopped and stared for a minute, not really wanting to correct the dude. I think it comes down to:

1. Not wanting to say "Er . . . it's not CUM."
2. Not wanting to say anything like CUM
3. I'm an asshole and sort of wanted to see the whole thing painted in

Honestly, I'm fine with the word come, computer, but cumputer, gah. It sounds like an orgasm (and I'm not a guy here, so speculation comes into play) after hours and hours of masturbation and a half a teaspoon of mostly translucent gruel comes out.

And somehow, I feel like my work here is done.
posted by angrycat at 7:35 AM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes, I think we have a conflation here between trendy/cute/buzz- words people hate on their own terms, and words that provoke bizarre reactions unrelated to meaning or novelty. Like ricochet biscuit, I can't find anything objectionable about supper, let along the other words for meals, so I conclude there's a tiny odd cross-wiring that causes those words to trigger a disgust response.

Whereas hating on "awesomsauce" or "nomnom" or "going forward" is on some kind of solid ground, or at least not irrational.
posted by argybarg at 7:41 AM on August 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


See, as a British person, the idea of "Americanism" is pretty irritating to me. It feels like a form of prescriptivism, founded on the idea that one current form of British English is authentic and all other dialects and related languages are derivative and secondary, or even wrong.

I always understood an Americanism to be usage that is standard in the US and nonstandard in some target country's variant of English, just as a Britishism is usage that's standard in the UK and nonstandard in the target country. In the UK, you might want to avoid Americanisms. In the US, you might want to avoid Britishisms. In Canada, you might want to avoid both Americanisms (color) and Britishisms (storage area at rear of car = boot), though lots of usage that would be a Britishism in the US is just standard in Canadian English.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:04 AM on August 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I definitely think some words have a pleasant sound ("euphonious" and "autology" for example), and some have a harsh sound ("tarmac", most English swear words), but the kind of visceral disgust response that people describe for "moist" is foreign to me, and really interesting. It seems almost like a peculiar form of synesthesia.

I do have pet peeve words that are partly based in sound, though. One I'm a bit surprised no one else has mentioned yet is "blog," and all its forms ("blogger," "blogging"). I hate that word, though I've finally come to accept it. Mostly because it's just so ugly sounding, and as a neologism that was unnecessary. How did the Internet collectively arrive at "blog" as the best choice to describe online columns? What made it outcompete "e-zine" or any of the other terms that were in usage in the 90s and early 2000s?
posted by biogeo at 8:05 AM on August 29, 2015


Shoe.

Megaphone.

Grunties.
posted by kcds at 8:14 AM on August 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


The list of words that make me shudder--actually, physically shudder, even if slightly--is probably too long to list here. I'm not sure I can even come up with all of them off the top of my head. They definitely include a lot of cutesy "geekspeak" (which is itself one of them), but also a lot of Early Modern Englishisms like "milady" and "twas".

But to address that Uranus thing oneswellfoop mentioned - I think one of the biggest aversions I have is to words beginning with U that English speakers egregiously pronounce as if they begin with Y or I. Every problem with that planet's name is solved if it would just be pronounced goddamned correctly as OO-ran-us. I also despise when people mispronounce Ursinus College's name as YOUR-sinus.

Vowel letters should all be pronounced like in the Latin that the damn letters come from. Basically the thing I hate the most is the Great Vowel Shift (though this U thing isn't exactly an example of that).

Anyway, these links are all great reading, jake, thanks.
posted by branduno at 8:27 AM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, when people default to G sounding like IPA /dʒ/ instead of IPA /ɡ/, including the stupid English name for the letter. God literally intends for the letter to be pronounced like a voiced velar stop, and anything else is slimy and pagan.
posted by branduno at 8:33 AM on August 29, 2015


I don't find any words annoying, even the ones I dislike for "rational" reasons. I do remember being a small pre-vocal person in a high chair being annoyed/disgusted by sounds and the small slurping noises that people make when they're talking. And the shape of their mouths as they get around various sounds. But I put that down to basically being an alien in this place, and I'm used to it now.

Also, damn you J.K. Seazer! Now I'm binging at Oglaf again.
posted by sneebler at 8:46 AM on August 29, 2015


This is very mysterious to me. I love words like "moist" because they are precise descriptors. Or "squelch" it usually means something terrible has happened to my shoe, but it is a marvelous word, in itself. I respect the power of description and reaction it can elicit, especially in the hands of a good writer.

This whole phenomena seems to confuse the thing being described with the word itself, which is foreign to me. I can be upset by an event being described, but I don't react to the words themselves outside of the context of the story. That would be like blaming the road sign warning me "bumpy pavement ahead" for the bumps in the road I'm currently driving over.

I do have pet peeve words that are partly based in sound, though. One I'm a bit surprised no one else has mentioned yet is "blog," and all its forms ("blogger," "blogging"). I hate that word, though I've finally come to accept it. Mostly because it's just so ugly sounding, and as a neologism that was unnecessary. How did the Internet collectively arrive at "blog" as the best choice to describe online columns? What made it outcompete "e-zine" or any of the other terms that were in usage in the 90s and early 2000s?

Brevity. The shortest word to describe something will often win out.
posted by emjaybee at 8:54 AM on August 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Threadsit. Eponysterical. SLYT.
posted by oulipian at 9:08 AM on August 29, 2015


Moist doesn't bother me, but people who shorten "vacation" to "vaca" (rhymes in my head with "alpaca") should be launched into outer space.
posted by fedward at 9:14 AM on August 29, 2015


Shortened "vacation" rhymes with "away". If what they said rhymes with "alpaca", then they weren't just taking a break from work, they were going to visit a cow in Mexico.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:23 AM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


It doesn't rhyme with "away," is my point. "Vacay" does, but is only slightly more tolerable than "vaca." Vacation is leisurely. Can't you take the time to type the whole word, people who are not me?
posted by fedward at 9:33 AM on August 29, 2015


Mucosa, poise, binky, bilabial (sorry owner of this handle), plump, bowel, pouch, lobes, . . .
posted by Obscure Reference at 10:06 AM on August 29, 2015


It's strange; "boobies" as mentioned above doesn't particularly bother me, but I can't stand "ta-tas," especially in the context of that "save the ta-tas" bumpersticker.

I guess the juvenile(?) aspect of the bumpersticker might be part of it, but even aside from that, "ta-tas" just grates on me in a way that "boobies" does not even come close to.
posted by Juffo-Wup at 10:14 AM on August 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


I have only seen "ta-tas" used with "bodacious" in front of them. I never heard anything but ta-tas described as bodacious until 2012, when the anime Bodacious Space Pirates aired (with one of the best opening songs in a long time).

"Boobies", to me, has the quality of being both crass and juvenile at the same time. Much like "funbags". In fact, as I think of it, pretty much every euphemism for female anatomy that I learned in grade school is a cringe-inducing word for me today. Quite a number of words for male anatomy, too, like "boner". What, are you in a John Hughes film?
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 10:26 AM on August 29, 2015


"Lesbian" also sounds unpleasant to me. Not being a lesbian, I hasten to add; that has nothing to do with this. But the word seems to have a leer built in. It also seems to have something in common phonetically with other words named above, maybe the "b" sound.
posted by Countess Elena at 10:26 AM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've known people bothered by "moist" and "mucus", etc. but didn't really get it. 'Phlegm' bothers some folks, but never me. EXCEPT..... A few years ago, simple crude graffiti scratched on a stall wall read: "flem". That cued immediate nausea followed by a short session of projectile vomiting.

Now, the misspelled word, which is not pronounced any differently, can pop into my head (rare) and give me pause. Keying the word to this comment queases me a bit; the misspelling cues (for me) all that is unpleasant and disgusting about the subject and substance. Dealing with phlegm(properly spelled) is not fun, but eh, it's just another body fluid.

ps AMSR sceptic, here. (Reverse-AMSR, as well)
posted by ptochocrat at 10:31 AM on August 29, 2015


> I could swear that people used to say "imagery" or "image" where they now say "optics".

"Optics" is distinct. Optics has a connotation like "the way something looks to the general public" as in "Henry Kissinger would be an asset to the team but the optics would be bad."

Nearly always it's used as a fancy way of saying, "Thing X looks bad" as in "When President Obama responded to the failed Christmas airliner bombing while on vacation in his native state of Hawaii, some Republicans claimed it was “bad optics.”" or "There are still concerns around the optics of corporate meetings [abroad] and the trend continues to be to avoid lavishness and frills."'

Searching did not find real-world examples of "good optics" or "improving optics" for example.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:41 AM on August 29, 2015


Words I hate the sound of: Pus, glutinous, slather, flaccid, pusillanimous, belch.

Words with bad associations: Heavy-- because my family used that to describe females who were overweight (She is looking a little heavy.) It always sounded worse to me than fat. It sounded like they were describing an elephant.

Tampax-- because my mother could never say this in a normal voice. She said it through a clenched jaw like she couldn't bring herself to clearly pronounce the word.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:58 AM on August 29, 2015


Oh and fistula-- it is worse than pustule to me. There are plenty of unpleasant medical conditions that don't sound gross: sarcoma, eczema, blister, edema but fistula is just horrible. I think it is my worst word.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:11 AM on August 29, 2015


Squat.

Haunches.

Squat on your haunches.


... I feel like I need a shower now.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 11:20 AM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I always understood an Americanism to be usage that is standard in the US and nonstandard in some target country's variant of English, just as a Britishism is usage that's standard in the UK and nonstandard in the target country.

That's definitely not how a lot of British people use "Americanism". Some do use it in the way you mean it, but for some it also denotes "A colonial debasement of the mother tongue".
posted by howfar at 12:12 PM on August 29, 2015


The words "snack cake" make me crazy and also slightly despairing for humanity and especially when said out loud. "How would you like a Lil Debbie Snack Cake?" said the creepy host at the Tupperware party. The way the words stick in your throat....ugh. The partner loathes the word "kudos". Even the sight of a Kudos brand granola bar, when they existed, sent him shuddering in the opposite direction.

I also feel sad when any inanimate object has an honorific in front of it, i.e. "Mr. Coffee", my parents' bread making machine "Mr. Loaf", "Mrs. Butterworth", etc. Something about making these things into person-like creatures, deserving of respectful little honorifics, is slightly off-putting. Not snack cake levels of derangement, but still.
posted by but no cigar at 12:40 PM on August 29, 2015


"A colonial debasement of the mother tongue".

Which is a funny conceit, considering those "colonial debasements" are often holdovers from older uses of the mother tongue. Who's the debaser now????
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 1:10 PM on August 29, 2015


I don't like the word empathetic, to me, it's cacophonous. Much prefer empathic.

Most of my pet-peeves in this vein are grammatical errors or vocal tics, such as my friend who uses "formally" when she means "formerly" (even in writing) or my other friend who pronounces "saw" with an l at the end. I actually do have a visceral reaction to "sawl".
posted by MuChao at 1:17 PM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I hate "panties" because it is the word that the creepers at the laundromat use to indicate that they would like to watch you fold yours.

In a recent and very long facebook thread on this exact subject, the most controversial *and* supported post was "panties, when said by straight men".

It took me a while to actually get it, but this post really helped. Seconding the "unexamined privilege of the day" moment post above.

I hate "awesomesauce" and its evil cousin "amazeballs," but it's a different sort of an aversion than the aversion to "moist" to "creamy" or what have you. Those two don't make me cringe; they're just unbearably twee.

They aren't twee, they're reddity. Not now, but a couple years ago. I can't see those phrases without imagining the person writing it being a 15 year old nerdy dude with a semi-offensive meme shirt at an anime convention. They're the 2010s version of saying "POWNED" out loud. If i had to write a dictionary definition the usage in a sentence would be like... "Dude, that demo at the nintendo booth is amazeballs" . They're the same fucking people who kept posting that "alot" comic by Allie Brosh in response to people non stop well after everyone had already seen it 400 times.
posted by emptythought at 1:17 PM on August 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Which is a funny conceit, considering those "colonial debasements" are often holdovers from older uses of the mother tongue. Who's the debaser now????

Well yes, that was what I said in my original comment...is there an echo in here?
posted by howfar at 1:51 PM on August 29, 2015


Sorry, slightly tetchy sounding. Forgive me.
posted by howfar at 1:54 PM on August 29, 2015


Fascinating post. I've always hated the word "pamper." Perhaps because "pamper yourself" sounds like "put diapers on yourself." Yeesh! I also can't stand "savvy" for reasons that remain unclear.
posted by WordCannon at 2:07 PM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hi folks! Checking in with some more good ones! I discovered this amazing post and comment thread last night, with OVER 3000 RESPONSES!! and I don't think it was in the original links, but it may be the best and most eye-opening discussion I've ever found on this subject, tons of good data.

You can pretty much do a Ctrl+F and type in one or more of your least favorite words, and chances are they will come up! Almost all of mine are in the thread! Some really SUPER nasty ones in there, wow, I need bleach after that. I feel so dirty reading people's secret no-no words. Holy shiiiit.

Just look at all those normal words people report being unable to see or hear without discomfort! Imagine going through life unable to say the word "puberty" because (as described by MORE THAN ONE poster, like it was a running theme) using words that have a strong "pew-" sound stresses you out! What happens when you turn 13? Or have kids! (I assume you'd say "development" or "changes")

I mean although the word doesn't bother me, I can definitely sense that the words "puberty" or "pewter" or "pudenda," while referring to generally useful things, have a sort of ...... noticeable synesthetic pong to them, I dunno. I don't think it's a stretch to say words can subtly "smell" or "taste" good or bad, subjectively but without requiring all-out "color-tasting" levels of synesthesia. Sometimes a word just feels "off".

The analogy I would make to illustrate: Words are like cans. Some of them contain awesome things, like a can of cranberry sauce or condensed milk. You don't mind opening up that can multiple times a day. How lovely! Other times, you have a can of regular albacore tuna. The entire kitchen pretty much reeks when you open it, but you know it tastes good and is good for you, and your cat loves it, so you're like "Whatever fine! Gross thing gets by this time" Then you have surströmming. You might be willing to take it outside and open it underwater, but it's not even entering my goddamn shopping cart. Just keep it away from me, enjoy it elsewhere.

"Moist" is sort of a tuna word. I'll use it, but if I can avoid it, I will. For me, "prostrate" is a surströmming word. Ugh, just don't. Just no. "Prostate" is pure, creamy condensed milk, totally awesome. I don't understand why. Maybe it's the repetition of those tricky Rs. Homey don't play that. Nothing to do with its content, it just "smells wrong" to me.

There are so many bizarre hangups playing into this phenomenon simultaneously!~~~~ I love it!
posted by jake at 2:15 PM on August 29, 2015


"Krispy Kreme"
Many oxymorons bring out the worst reactions, especially the ones intentionally used.
As brands: Whopper Junior, the Cherokee Pioneer (yes, it was one of Jeep's models), La-Z-Boy Office Furniture, Maxi-Thins, the Utah Jazz, the Resurrection Funeral Home (an actual business name in Clinton Township Michigan). and that one you have to think about but once you do will always bother you: Dodge Ram.
As movie titles (where creepiness is often the intent): Dead Man Walking, Eyes Wide Shut, Where the Truth Lies (subtle), all the roman-numeral-bearing sequels to Final Fantasy and anything with Living Dead. Have we gotten used to Back to the Future yet?
And the title Surgeon General still gives me the willies.

and congratulations, jake, your first post at Mefi is a winner, not a weiner
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:27 PM on August 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


"Hubby" and "preggers" are both ghastly.
posted by Hot Pastrami! at 3:13 PM on August 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


"Hubby" and "preggers" are totes adorbs.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:28 PM on August 29, 2015


There are few individual words that make me want to murder, but plenty of short phrases and cliches. I have a special hatred for words that have devolved, where dopey people never used the word correctly and I can watch the fucked-up version slowly replacing the original. The phrase "butt naked" sends me into a froth. It's BUCK naked! Buck, as in naked as a buck! What the hell does "butt naked" mean? That your butt is naked? Wouldn't that mean that you weren't wearing pants (so your front is also naked)? Or are you wearing assless chaps, or what?

The phrase "hellbent for leather" always bothered me, and a while ago I looked up its origin. It's a shit origin for a shit phrase, some complicated mess about how "hellbent" somehow got all tangled up with "hell for leather" (meaning that you were riding your horse so hard that it was hell on your leather saddle or whip). It's freaking ridiculous, but I think people just liked it because it had macho words like "hellbent" and "leather" in it and they didn't care that it doesn't mean anything and makes you sound like a choad.

As I get older, I'm losing my tolerance for pop songs that are trying to coin a slang phrase. The slang is always so strained and weird and stupid. The shitheads who wrote Like a G6 were saying that something was so "fly" it was "fly-er" than the G4 airplane. There was a "G6" in production at the time but these idiots didn't know it, so the G6 was entirely hypothetical in their minds. This cruddy little dance tune has such a convoluted backstory! Hollaback Girl was another one of those. You had to look up what the hell it meant and when you did you felt like an idiot for wasting 45 seconds of your life on it.

Also, the word shitheads is fun to say but when you write it out it looks like it should rhyme with "pith needs".

Also voluptuous (erk!).

I love the word voluptuous, it's one of my favorites. It makes your tongue flop around in your mouth in such a pleasing, decadent way.

This discussion is not complete without a link to that Monty Python sketch about woody and tinny words. It's not their funniest sketch ever, but I think many of us can relate to it. Gooooone.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:58 PM on August 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


my mother couldn't stand us calling chintzy things "cheesy" because she worked for a medical insurance company: the word that followed "cheesy" in her business was always "discharge".

Did you have to spread this amongst us? Why why WHY?!! That bell can't be unrung now, like some unholy incantation.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:18 PM on August 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


See, I don't get that at all. Breakfast is one of those lovely compound English words that keeps all its components intact

My main problem with it is that something as simple and benign as "morning-food" should not require a mash-up of eight consonants that sound terrible together.

Second, the reason we have this grotesque word is that it is a compound of "break" and "fast", which is just stupid - who takes the fact that people don't eat while they are sleeping to mean that they are "fasting"?

I've always shuddered hearing this word and thought it was a pity that a great thing like breakfast should be ruined by its name. What's worse, here in Australia it is frequently abbreviated to "brekkie", which sends me into paroxysms of rage for reasons I cannot quite understand.
posted by moorooka at 5:26 PM on August 29, 2015


You know who LIKED the word 'moist'? Terry Pratchett.

And I believe in differentiating between "cheesy" as in "discharge" and "cheezy" as in "the movies on MST3K". It saves my sanity.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:38 PM on August 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


So is this isolated to English? I'm curious if people speaking other languages have these kinds of word aversions, and also if there's any crossover with the sounds in those words.

Sort of related yet opposite, and I'm not sure how to describe it, is that I have an extreme affinity for words in Spanish that are derived from indigenous american languages, which I attribute both to my love of the satisfying mouthfeel of those various languages and to my undying rage at colonialism.
posted by poffin boffin at 5:41 PM on August 29, 2015


Yes to this fabulous post and *no* to moist and sammich. Other words which drive me mental are prolly and scab.
posted by biggreenplant at 5:51 PM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't nom on that, it's prolly a moist scab sammich
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:57 PM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Nthing revulsion for "panties," which seems inherently prurient. And I loathe "little girls' room" and "little boys' room" so completely I can't even describe it. All of the above revolt me because they're so tediously cutesy and teehee. Yuck, yuck, a thousand times yuck.
posted by carmicha at 6:02 PM on August 29, 2015


oneswellfoop: "Did you just call me snorble-borble?!?"

Oh shit. It is ON NOW!
posted by Samizdata at 6:17 PM on August 29, 2015


the man of twists and turns: ""Hubby" and "preggers" are totes adorbs."

People that know me know I refuse to use totes and I only use adorbs as a snarky way of saying the opposite. "Oh, it was so adorbs when you shit yourself standing at the front of the churce awaiting Communion..."
posted by Samizdata at 6:26 PM on August 29, 2015


And I always thought Totes Adorbs was an ancient Gallic General who was defeated by Caesar or Atilla or Beyonce...
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:34 PM on August 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think one of the biggest aversions I have is to words beginning with U that English speakers egregiously pronounce as if they begin with Y or I. Every problem with that planet's name is solved if it would just be pronounced goddamned correctly as OO-ran-us.

I used to feel this way, but I eventually got oozed to it.
posted by rifflesby at 7:00 PM on August 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


While I'm here, the abbreviation of "because" to "cos" always makes me read it as "cosine" in my head. I always write "'cause" or sometimes "cuz" if I'm feeling really txtspk-ish.

But really? "cos" is a long O and an unvoiced S, not a schwa and a Z.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 7:09 PM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I really dislike the way people use "icky" (especially on metafilter), ESPECIALLY when they push the limit by appending all sorts of cutesy hyphenated 5 year old terms.
posted by laptolain at 8:01 PM on August 29, 2015


My verboten words, other than those poached intact from other languages by people who use them solely because they sound uber cute and because they've tired of having to elegant and not-at-all-worn-out qualifiers like "on steroids" or "on acid" to show how histrionically intense they are often come down to context over earfeel.

The word "moped" is, to me, the distillation of the moment of whizzing down a green country lane on a careworn Motobecane Mobylette with the single cylinder singing that perfect two-stroke song and leaving behind a thin blue line of smoke connected directly, you feel, to the cigarettes of noir femme fatales, tracing figures in the air from mother-of-pearl holders. A moped is what you employ to successfully evade the French police and Dominique Pinon, or navigate the escalators of the Paris Metro. It is a word made of other words, describing what it is, which is a MOtorized PEDal-equipped vehicle.

A scooter is not a moped and never will be a moped and if you use the word "moped" to describe a scooter, WHICH CLEARLY HAS NO MOTHERFUCKING PEDALS YOU STUPID IGNORANT ASSHOLE, in my presence, my face will immediately turn a lurid shade of pink as I adjust your position on my sliding scale of decent upstanding people vs. stupid ignorant assholes, and you will be lucky, by some measure, that the world's governing bodies have wisely made it impossible for me to own a cache of weapons of mass destruction.

Not that I would wipe out all humanity to prevent people from using "moped" incorrectly, of course, but it's best to keep some temptations at bay.

Other than that I am a moped and scooter fan with a persnickety attention to nomenclature, I'm not sure why that particular social disgrace so enrages me, but whereas I could watch a cute little video with a lot of two-wheeled eye candy while giddily clapping my sticky hands together in twee delight, the second I hear the lyric describe what is clearly a scooter dealership as "the moped store," all I can think about from then on is repeatedly battering Macklemore about the face and torso with a dismounted crank and pedal from an actual moped while shrieking "THIS IS A PEDAL! THIS IS A PEDAL! THIS IS A PEDAL!"

Outside of that compact and bijou duchy of my own crazy, I get knotted up when I hear grown adults using infantile fool language out of whatever the hell it is that goes wrong in the head and heart to make talking like you're stupid sound ever so cute.

I grew up in a household where my father was prone to florid Southern metaphor and my mother preferred the clinical, asking us in dire youth whether we needed to "make a bowel movement," eeulgh. I hated those unsettling scientific words, but compared to the "pee pee" and "boom boom" idiocy drummed into less lucky youngsters by our neighboring parents, and when I hear grown-ass daymurderers say things like "I need a poo" at the age of thirty-seven, some deep part of me wriggles in disgust like the ghastly dance of dissected frogs jerking at the introduction of electrodes to their waxen trays.

So the airpinchers deploy their pained little onomatopoeic tonguenoises with the all the diluted sensation of a Mona Lisa smile generated by gas pains, and boy, oh boy, do I squirm. Be accurate or be vulgar, I say—that minced oath nonsense is all the trash of vulgarity combined with all the polished chromium and porcelain dental office fixtures of clinical talk with none of the humanity.

Maybe it's just me, though.

Mind you, it all pales compared to the language that men have created to "enhance" their expression of sexuality, and nothing comes closer to making me crave a life of fussy, decorative celibacy like trying to have a conversation referencing sex on a digital medium.

"Well, that's it," I said, sitting on the porch with a friend as we enjoyed the cicada songs of late summer and looking up from my telephone. He looked up from his own telephone. "Yep. I'm straight now," I declared, with a scowl.

My friend laughed. "Why?"

"This guy said he wants to drink my bath water, and asked if I 'breed 'n' seed.'"

"I suppose that's sort of a compliment."

"And he assures me that he has a tight 'manpussy.' I think I need to go lie down with a cold compress on my forehead."

"You getting the vapours?"

"I'm having one of my spells."

"Better get with the program if you don't want to die alone," my friend said, with gravity.

And right then, I picture myself in my usual bathing repose, with a book in hand, a stemmed glass of milk and grenadine on the lip of the tub, bossa nova playing in the next room, and a stick of nag champa smoldering on the windowsill…and some guy from the internet with a tight manpussy on his hands and knees, swigging my bathwater with a crazy straw, and maybe it would be better to just slouch a little lower in the tub and end it all, because OH MY FUCKING GOD PEOPLE ARE SO GODDAMNED GROSS.

And maybe it's just that I love the mother tongue, the way it dips and swirls and traces a languid path through my shell-like ears in its most sincere execution, and maybe I'm the odd one out, because I just don't want certain things to be jabbed roughly into my sonic in-holes like a dog instinctively fucking a stuffed bear.

Mercy.
posted by sonascope at 5:05 AM on August 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Some of you might enjoy the following CBC radio skit, wherein they explore discomfiture at the pronunciation of the word "pleasure."

"I feel like a loose Band-Aid just brushed my upper lip at the public swimming pool!"
posted by The Outsider at 7:20 AM on August 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think we should have our own version of the Bulwer-Lytton contest to see how many of these words could be used in a single opening sentence.....
posted by pjern at 7:27 AM on August 30, 2015


This is a fantastic post, Jake!

I definitely have a list of words I strongly dislike purely because of the sound/shape of the word (for me it's more that I dislike saying them myself than that I dislike others saying them) though it's hard to list them because I have more or less blocked them out. I also have lots of words I LOVE and am pleased to see turn up unrelated to their meaning. I think that maybe the translation from spelling to sound has something to do with it in both cases, as I notice that a lot of words I care one way or another about have silent letters, diphthongs, or doubled consonants.

Moist doesn't bother me, but moisture begins to get irritating.

We should have a separate thread for excellent, beautiful words if someone can find a link about word attraction. What would the word for that be? I also have feelings about numbers. Is there a word for that as well? SO MANY FEELINGS.
posted by rafaella gabriela sarsaparilla at 8:08 AM on August 30, 2015


Someone saw a strange amount of moisture on her lips.
posted by sonascope at 8:17 AM on August 30, 2015


This has been a fascinating post, mainly due to the comments. I share a few of the distastes of previous commenters, moist in particular. I agree with rafaella that a complementary post of favored words would be nice, euphonious words which give pleasure when said, heard, or read.
posted by Agave at 8:21 AM on August 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


God, I hate "sensual". My honest reaction is cringing and sometimes dry heaving.
posted by nikitabot at 1:28 PM on August 30, 2015


"Scrabbling." As in "The mouse was scrabbling in the wall." Uggggggh, I can just hear it back there scratching and gaaaaaaah

For this and possibly other related reasons, Scrabble might not be the game for you.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 2:20 PM on August 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Prude. When people use it correctly, as a noun, I just dislike it on ideological grounds, but for the past few years I've heard more and more people using it as an adjective ("She's so prude," instead of prudish) and dear lord, it sends me into a paroxysm of rage and revulsion every time. No other word makes me angry like that.

Foetus and foeces/foecal are incredibly disgusting spellings. Fecal/feces don't particularly bother me, and fetus is perfectly fine. No idea why.
posted by hippugeek at 3:44 PM on August 30, 2015


A foetus is a fetus that you hate, so that makes sense.
posted by rifflesby at 5:47 PM on August 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Jon Mitchell: "Scrabble might not be the game for you."

I am absolutely terrible at Scrabble. I'm great at trivia games, but put me in front of a game where I'm under pressure to unscramble words or form words under time pressure, and I fall completely apart. All my words are like "Uh" and "It" and "Eh." Appallingly bad. People always assure me that's okay! It'll still be fun! But it only takes a game or two with me before they recant, because it's fun like playing chess with a three-year-old is "fun": There's no challenge and the 3-year-old keeps fucking up the board.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:54 PM on August 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I actually did not know that panties was a real word until high school, I thought it was something people only said to little kids.

Twatwaffle, preggers, funbags, man-panties.

Funbags would probably be hilarious if people used it to mean testicles.
posted by bile and syntax at 6:32 PM on August 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't mind moist but my Jamaican friend's "miced" and "mice-tur" crack me up.

I do abhor incentivize and squamous though.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 9:29 PM on August 30, 2015


bike and syntax, I hate all those too. In fact, anything that uses man as a pun prefix is on my hate list.

The thing about squamous is, Lovecraft probably used it because it sounds horrible.
posted by JHarris at 11:27 PM on August 30, 2015


UnDuLaTe
Lover

"Krispy Kreme"
Many oxymorons bring out the worst reactions


Mind. Blown.

squamous

I don't hate it, but sounds like the name of a lodge in Washington.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:05 AM on August 31, 2015


There's a beautician's next door to where I work and the sign out the front has been advertising 'Little Miss Lip' for the last week and I cannot walk past it without muttering those loathsome words in the most sarcastic way possible and wanting to kick the sign to the ground while screaming 'Little Miss Lip! Little Miiiiiiiss Liiiiiip'. I won't do it but damn, it annoys me so much.
posted by h00py at 12:54 AM on August 31, 2015


See, as a British person, the idea of "Americanism" is pretty irritating to me. It feels like a form of prescriptivism, founded on the idea that one current form of British English is authentic and all other dialects and related languages are derivative and secondary, or even wrong.

It's not that, it's just the implication that I, as a Brit, have to use the American terms in order to make things easier for the Yanks. You know what a pavement is, so stop making 'OMG what does that strange word mean?' noises when I say it. I won't start saying sidewalk for anyone.
posted by HypotheticalWoman at 8:07 AM on August 31, 2015


Clot. Clots. Clotting. Clotted.

(I do love me some clotted cream though. Just don't ask me to say it when I'm ordering it.)
posted by ElleElle at 12:24 PM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's an argument to be made that Americans should learn some British English, but no, as it is, Americans think pavement means "paved surface" and unless further context is provided, the assumption is that this means asphalt on a roadway. This may have started centuries ago as an affectation, but today it is an actual communication barrier.
posted by idiopath at 1:03 PM on August 31, 2015


You know what a pavement is, so stop making 'OMG what does that strange word mean?' noises when I say it. I won't start saying sidewalk for anyone.

I must have got the wrong impression somewhere. I thought you were talking about the words that irritate you, not the words that you use that other people pass judgement on.

Personally I just say the first thing that comes into my head, as my long and checkered history on Metafilter can attest.
posted by howfar at 3:07 PM on August 31, 2015


I am reminded of an old (16 years old!) Salon article about people in the professional naming game (i.e.: consultants who come up with catchy names for your company or product). One anecdote relates this kind of disgusted reaction to one particular proposed name -- Jamcracker:
It seems that when Altman and Manning presented the name Jamcracker to a client recently, the reception was not everything they had hoped for. “I put the name up in front of their creative people,” Manning says. “There were a couple of women sitting in. One of them got up and said, ‘Oh, that’s disgusting.’ Another said, ‘This is really sick.’ I said, ‘Excuse me, what are you talking about?’ They said, ‘We can’t explain it, but that name is just creeping us out. We don’t know what it is, but could you take it off the wall, please?'” Manning remains mystified by the incident. “There’s apparently some strange, uncomfortable meaning attached to it in the minds of some women,” he says. “God knows what that could be.”
Of course, in the intervening years, a company with that very name has sprung up. Just goes to show that you can't keep a weird (and maybe gross?) name down.
posted by mhum at 3:23 PM on August 31, 2015 [3 favorites]



Buppies. How the boss has always referred to her boobs.
posted by notreally at 4:58 PM on August 31, 2015


My grandmother used to throw her nose in the air and use "irregardless", and it always triggered incoherent rage in me. Things like "intensive purposes", "poured over the page" instead of "pored over the page", and the horrific abuse of peek/peak/pique have similar effect.

Elsewise, individual words don't bother me, save for "woman", and that is only because I was whipped with an extension cord and had my mouth washed out with Lava soap because my mother hated the word. I write it, I say it, but I taste that soap every time.
posted by MissySedai at 9:40 PM on August 31, 2015


The American Dad episode "Irregarding Steve" changed my mind about irregardless. But I sympathize with those other turns of phrase, and would add the whole home in/hone in confusion.

That is awful about your mom's reaction to that word, though. If you don't mind me asking, what word did she prefer? Why did she react so violently to it?
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:01 AM on September 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Things like "intensive purposes", "poured over the page" instead of "pored over the page", and the horrific abuse of peek/peak/pique have similar effect.

I used to know a guy who used "I'd just assume" for "I'd just as soon." Fortunately for me, it just made me laugh at him because he was a jerk in general.
posted by holborne at 12:00 PM on September 1, 2015


"We're pregnant."
posted by Room 641-A at 1:23 PM on September 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


That is awful about your mom's reaction to that word, though. If you don't mind me asking, what word did she prefer? Why did she react so violently to it?

She insisted on "lady".

As for the violence? Well, she reacted violence to lots of things. I suppose if someone had helped her get mental health care, things may have been different.
posted by MissySedai at 1:34 PM on September 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I used to wonder why the sidewalk was called the pavement in the UK.

Tripping over my fifth loose paving stone while walking down the road helped that penny drop.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 4:11 PM on September 1, 2015


Damn, Missy, that's terrible. Sorry to hear that.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:58 AM on September 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


A Terrible Llama, an ex-boyfriend *called me* "yummy."

And I wasn't even a "mummy."

I was barely thirty.

I should have lit that guy on fire.
posted by gusandrews at 7:40 PM on September 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


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