Words to piss you off
June 22, 2018 11:40 AM   Subscribe

Why Do We Hate Certain Words? The curious phenomenon of word aversion.
posted by strelitzia (125 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
I knew that when I opened the article I would see 'moist.' I, personally, never got the aversion to it. Some of my favorite experiences involve it. Go figure.
posted by Splunge at 11:44 AM on June 22, 2018 [17 favorites]


I'm gonna call out "pleasure" here. It has absolutely never been one.
posted by Countess Elena at 11:45 AM on June 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


And in an era of YouTube, Twitter, Vine, BuzzFeed top-20 gross-out lists, and so on, trends, even the most icky ones, spread fast. “There could very well be a viral aspect to this, where either through the media or just through real-world personal connections, the reaction to some particular word—for example, moist—spreads,” says Liberman. “But that’s the sheerest speculation.”

I think this is the crux of it. With 'moist' in particular, I believe many people hate the word because so much of pop culture has embraced the word as hate-able.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:51 AM on June 22, 2018 [21 favorites]


I have programed Word Replacer II to substitute "pussy farting" for "snarky", among other rules, in Chrome.
posted by thelonius at 11:52 AM on June 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


I am and will always be just simply a moist lover. My tomb stone will just say, Moist.
posted by stinkfoot at 11:54 AM on June 22, 2018 [6 favorites]


"Furbaby."

And "crafted" is really close, along with the less common "shafted" and very specific "hafted."

I am and will always be just simply a moist lover. My tomb stone will just say, Moist.
posted by stinkfoot


Eponysterical-ish?
posted by Foosnark at 11:57 AM on June 22, 2018 [3 favorites]


My friend Matthew hates the words "slacks" "ointment" and "moist."

So every year on his birthday, I text him a version of a sentence using those words. This year it was "My slacks are moist, thanks to that ointment!"

He's going to murder me one of these days, I'm sure of it.
posted by cooker girl at 11:58 AM on June 22, 2018 [19 favorites]


I do not like saying the word panties. I dunno why. It just seems wrong. I wonder if that is on a lot of people's list.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 12:01 PM on June 22, 2018 [6 favorites]


Previously
posted by J.K. Seazer at 12:01 PM on June 22, 2018


I really hate "buddy."
posted by vunder at 12:05 PM on June 22, 2018 [3 favorites]


I do dislike words that have lost their true meaning. Mainy due to commercial usage. Artisanal. Hearty. Healthful. All empty syllables now.
posted by Splunge at 12:05 PM on June 22, 2018 [4 favorites]


I can't but think of the Monstrous Regiment line: "Igorina gave it as her cultural opinion that the stew was not only hearty but lungy and livery too."
posted by inconstant at 12:07 PM on June 22, 2018 [15 favorites]


I always assumed that word aversion was one of those things that the internet invented... Like, I had never heard of it before reading that everyone has it. "Panties" and "moist", mentioned in this thread, always make an appearance. I just feel like it's an elaborate meme, akin to trypophobia - a supposedly "universal" thing that I just cannot relate to at all.
posted by Vesihiisi at 12:11 PM on June 22, 2018 [8 favorites]


There could very well be a viral aspect to this, where either through the media or just through real-world personal connections

See also: clown fear. Went from very rare actual thing, to joke, to much more commonly claimed fear AS a joke, to commonly claimed fear, to actual people standing on street corners in the dark in costume scaring folks.
posted by penduluum at 12:14 PM on June 22, 2018 [15 favorites]


Here is my major complaint: insisting on a cutesy name for everything. Example! A few weeks ago, there was a link to a a perfectly good site for learning English prosody. The site's name? "For Better For Verse", which is: 1) the most obvious possible pun 2) not even funny 3) annoyingly reminds me of that hideous comic strip.
posted by thelonius at 12:21 PM on June 22, 2018 [2 favorites]


I don't have any problem with moist, per se. I'm sure I've used it in a clinical and non-ironic sense many times.

It is, however, easily sullied by nearby words. I could be talking about my neighbor dropping off some fantastic baked goods, but the words "[...] left a big moist loaf" just make me feel gross.
posted by komara at 12:22 PM on June 22, 2018


For me, three top the list that always make me clench my teeth a little when I hear them:

Burglarize.
Burgle is quite acceptable, people. You don’t have to add an -ize suffix to verbify a noun that was formed from a word that was already a verb. Economy of phonemes! We certainly don’t need to imprisonize burglarizers for the criminal act of emburglarizationizing.

Mentee.
You are either the mentor or you are the mentored. I’m not exactly sure why this neologism bothers me so much. Possibly because of the irregular way it attaches the suffix. Train is a verb, adding -ee makes it one who is training or who is trained. But in mentee, the -ee suffix is added to a root (ment-) which, itself, is not a verb. I don’t know, but every time I hear the word, it just grates.

Snarky.
Count me among those who find this word irritating. It’s like hipsters decided that sarcastic and its many synonyms were just too passé to describe the predominant tone of Buffy the Vampire Slayer dialogue.


I also find nothing wrong with moist, and agree that it’s probably mainly hipster, in-group signaling to eschew the word.

I’m not a prescriptivist, though, so whatever.
posted by darkstar at 12:22 PM on June 22, 2018 [10 favorites]


"moist" is fine, for me, until paired with "towelette"
posted by thelonius at 12:23 PM on June 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


I love moist. And meal. They are very comforting thought-sounds. I'm bilingual and this directly reminds me of, e.g., white people professing aversion to gelatinous dishes in Chinese or Japanese cuisine.
posted by polymodus at 12:23 PM on June 22, 2018


Ugh, ointment. It's the only word I find actively unpleasant to hear or say. Something about the vowels. Moist has never bothered me.
posted by stillnocturnal at 12:26 PM on June 22, 2018


I asked MetaFilter about this once. The results show that MeFites hate "bae" most of all, followed by "panties" and "moist".
posted by Rock Steady at 12:29 PM on June 22, 2018 [3 favorites]


The results show that MeFites hate "bae" most of all

Never heard of "bae" before, but I agree. Totally unacceptable.
posted by strelitzia at 12:34 PM on June 22, 2018 [2 favorites]


One of my high school teachers hated the words "chunk" and "pus". Being obnoxious 15-year-old boys, we tormented her with them as much as possible.

I do not get the hate for "moist", though I do get my wife's explanation that "panties" sounds infantilizing and demeaning.

Personally, I hate "webinar"-- it's a horrible portmanteau.
posted by briank at 12:38 PM on June 22, 2018 [5 favorites]


Inconstant, I was reading this and wondering how long it would take for Terry Pratchett to appear in the comments. You win!

By the time Pratchett went for the obvious and named a character "Moist" he had already been coming up with names that poke at people's word aversions, for years.
posted by elizilla at 12:42 PM on June 22, 2018 [4 favorites]


For the 'ointment' haters: how would you feel about 'unguent' as an alternative?
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:45 PM on June 22, 2018 [3 favorites]


i have mentioned this here before but one of my favourite things about the summer, actually maybe the sole thing i like about the summer, is how angry people get when i say that it's so hot out that it feels like we're all trapped iNSIDE A MOIST ORIFICE.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:49 PM on June 22, 2018 [9 favorites]


how would you feel about 'unguent' as an alternative?

I just spent the past ten minutes trying to remember the other word I hated (in fact I typed ungulent into google and got nothing) and yeah... its unguent. Ugly ugly word. Ungulate is fine though, I think the difference is the hard g.
posted by stillnocturnal at 12:52 PM on June 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


Never cared much for the rarely-encountered "pullulate".
posted by jamjam at 12:55 PM on June 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


I hate when people say 'sammich' instead of 'sandwich'. Without a hard consonant in the middle that word becomes the linguistic equivalent of a wet fart.
posted by haileris23 at 1:04 PM on June 22, 2018 [13 favorites]


darkstar, how about mentoree?
posted by Emmy Rae at 1:05 PM on June 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


A pair of opposites, chiefly in their food incarnations: congeal, and deliquesce.
posted by BWA at 1:08 PM on June 22, 2018


Words I've had enough of lately: curate, fraught, reach out, performative, I mean. I don't hate them, but I've had enough of them for now, thanks.

I don't trust the "nsn" (an evil government agency?) lurking in the middle of "transnational" and I suspect "bookkeeping" of posing as Afrikaans.
posted by pracowity at 1:09 PM on June 22, 2018 [6 favorites]


how would you feel about 'unguent' as an alternative?

We stop at pancakes house!
posted by thelonius at 1:09 PM on June 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


certiorari
posted by skewed at 1:11 PM on June 22, 2018


ctrl-f SLACKS. High five.
posted by something something at 1:11 PM on June 22, 2018 [4 favorites]


darkstar, how about mentoree


I don’t know...

Mentoree just makes it sound like a rather louche celebration of some sort, on the more disreputable end of the spectrum that includes jamboree, shivaree and jubilee.
posted by darkstar at 1:13 PM on June 22, 2018 [3 favorites]


ctrl-f SLACKS. High five.

trousers, slacks, pants, ugh. all vaguely unpleasant words, probably because of a deep, unconscious desire to go around naked.
posted by skewed at 1:15 PM on June 22, 2018 [5 favorites]


Schmexy, smexy, and all variations thereof.

If you use that bastardization of the word sexy around me I will ghost you.
posted by Hermione Granger at 1:19 PM on June 22, 2018 [2 favorites]


I've always liked the word slacks. Sounds so comfy
posted by stillnocturnal at 1:19 PM on June 22, 2018 [3 favorites]


I thought I didn't have any of these word aversions, but then I said ointment out loud and I could feel my mouth momentarily assuming the shape of Donald Trump's mouth. Bad trip, man.
posted by aws17576 at 1:21 PM on June 22, 2018 [2 favorites]


I don't really have major aversions to single words (that I can remember atm), but if you tell me you want to "pick my brain," I'm calling 911.
posted by taz at 1:21 PM on June 22, 2018 [3 favorites]


For me it's "learnings", plural, as in "After they returned from the conference, the employees shared their learnings in an all-hands meeting."

It makes me nails-on-chalkboard uncomfortable whenever I see it. I have no idea why.

I mean obviously the root of it is the association with a particular kind of managerial bullshit, but it's definitely not exclusively used in that sort of communication.

In fact, it seems to be spreading more and more into general usage, which makes me very annoyed.
posted by vogon_poet at 1:30 PM on June 22, 2018 [5 favorites]


(Also, if I couldn't use "moist" I couldn't describe exactly the kind of chocolate cake I really, really want — a very important want to be able to relay clearly to all involved in the moist chocolate cake fulfillment chain! Real question: What kind of cake do "moist"-haters talk about when they talk about wanting cake?)
posted by taz at 1:32 PM on June 22, 2018 [2 favorites]


Also, "smarmy". I think because it sounds like "smegma".
posted by strelitzia at 1:35 PM on June 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


What kind of cake do "moist"-haters talk about when they talk about wanting cake?

Per the article, surely one of these:
damp - wet - humid - dank - soggy - dewy - watery
posted by aws17576 at 1:36 PM on June 22, 2018


Personally, Moist von Lipwig is one of my favorite character names. It never dawned on me that his name was hate-able.
posted by Pig Tail Orchestra at 1:37 PM on June 22, 2018 [3 favorites]


Damp cake....... humid cake..... soggy cake? Hmmmm. Not making me hungry
posted by stillnocturnal at 1:40 PM on June 22, 2018 [3 favorites]


Dank brownies though.
posted by stillnocturnal at 1:43 PM on June 22, 2018 [10 favorites]


juicy cake

Also "slacks" now annoys me for not being spelled SLAX.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:51 PM on June 22, 2018 [2 favorites]


“Whimsical” has made me irrationally angry since I was a child. Somewhere early on, it gained a connotation of “half-assed and pandering, with a sinister underbelly.” Barney and Friends, for instance, was “whimsical.”

“Whimsical” can go straight to hell.
posted by armeowda at 1:54 PM on June 22, 2018 [4 favorites]


furbaby

I can't stand "cat dad," both because it sounds like gibberish somehow and that cat is not your child.
posted by Rinku at 1:54 PM on June 22, 2018 [3 favorites]


how would you feel about 'unguent' as an alternative?

Do not go unguently into that good night.
posted by jamjam at 2:24 PM on June 22, 2018 [2 favorites]


Clothing catalogs sometimes use 'pant' and 'panty' instead of 'pants' and panties'. It bothers me.

Also, I find the word mixture unpleasant. The two consonants crashing together in the middle are awful.
posted by LindsayIrene at 2:25 PM on June 22, 2018 [4 favorites]


There are words that evoke anger or scorn or massive dislike for me (furbaby, orientate, learnings, reach out, utilise, tits) but the only thing that evokes a visceral repugnance for me is "potty". Toilet is fine, also the can or the john or porcelain goddess or even urinal. Just not potty. (shudder)

Moist is totally fine. Cunt is great (though I do not approve of it being used as an insult). I wouldn't use the words slacks or panties but they don't squick me. And I actually think it is a failing that I have that reaction - words are random and delightful and fascinating, and so are the strange ways we use and reuse and change how we use them.
posted by Athanassiel at 2:31 PM on June 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


Moocs and webinars. “Influencer”. Jorts. Things “hotting up”. Putrescence. Churlish. Poindexter.
posted by oulipian at 2:31 PM on June 22, 2018 [5 favorites]


I don't think I feel word aversion that often, and when I do, I think it's because I know I'm supposed to feel word aversion to that word. It's a kind of cultural feedback cycle, like the one that caused clown fear to become a common phobia, as penduluum describes above.

So I was a little surprised to see the word meal mentioned in the article. I don't think I've ever seen it listed before as a word people dislike... but I also intensely dislike it.
posted by painquale at 2:43 PM on June 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


Up until about two minutes ago I thought I didn't have any proper aversions, just things like "yeah, 'panties' sound kind of childish" and various fuddy-duddy nitpicks.

Two minutes ago the streamer I was watching said "gotta avoid the mushroom spurt".

It's "spurt". That's my Cannot word. I have found it.
posted by inconstant at 2:51 PM on June 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


So I was a little surprised to see the word meal mentioned in the article. I don't think I've ever seen it listed before as a word people dislike... but I also intensely dislike it.

stuff like "meal plan" or "cornmeal" or "breakfast is my favourite meal of the day" are all fine but woe betide all around me if i am forced to behold the horrible word "mealworm" oh no there it is
posted by poffin boffin at 2:55 PM on June 22, 2018 [5 favorites]


Preggers. I cannot stand that word. Infantilizing and ridiculous-sounding, to boot.
posted by Liesl at 3:03 PM on June 22, 2018 [6 favorites]


I'm surprised about the absence of this word, because the first word I thought of for this article is "trump". Maybe it's just me, but I've noticed "trump" actually being used less nowadays in real life.
posted by FJT at 3:05 PM on June 22, 2018 [2 favorites]


Preggers

"baby bump". "babymoon". All invented by the kind of folks who think dirty diaper cakes at baby showers are the height of hilarity.
posted by thelonius at 3:12 PM on June 22, 2018 [4 favorites]


Horror. But only as used by crap journalists, as in "a horror night on or roads with three dead". Do you mean horrible, you cretin? It makes me quite grumpy.

Learnings is similar. Perhaps we could use the word lessons, or even just ask what we've learnt.

My partner will stab me if I ever use the word panties, which I get, she's not 7. I don't understand so much why undies is fine though.
posted by deadwax at 3:38 PM on June 22, 2018


I've noticed "trump" actually being used less nowadays in real life.

My own use of this word has dropped about 99% in the last couple of years. Which is a pity, it was useful.
posted by deadwax at 3:40 PM on June 22, 2018 [6 favorites]


Maybe it's just me, but I've noticed "trump" actually being used less nowadays in real life.
posted by FJT


To say the devil's name is to summon him. Ssssssshhhhhhh!
posted by Splunge at 3:52 PM on June 22, 2018 [3 favorites]


Hubby. I just... eesh.
posted by mochapickle at 3:52 PM on June 22, 2018 [8 favorites]


stuff like "meal plan" or "cornmeal" or "breakfast is my favourite meal of the day" are all fine but woe betide all around me if i am forced to behold the horrible word "mealworm" oh no there it is

blood meal (which means two different things, both of them horrifying)
posted by XMLicious at 4:01 PM on June 22, 2018


The only word worse than sibling is ... siblings.
posted by chavenet at 4:41 PM on June 22, 2018


blood meal aka the forbidden nesquik
posted by poffin boffin at 4:47 PM on June 22, 2018 [7 favorites]


I run a gift shop that at one point carried a really cute educational card game about birds, and below what it was called it was subtitled “a trump game”, referring to, you know, cards.

Over and over again I heard people pick up the cards and say they were cute until, “ugh, it says trump on it” and they put them back. It happened so many times, that I called the vendor to let them know what was happening. My rep told me that I wasn’t the only person to say so, and that it was such a problem that the next print run of that game was going to have the problematic word removed.

I never understood word aversion until that.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 4:54 PM on June 22, 2018 [7 favorites]


Nourishment, as in spiritual nourishment.

Not a word, but a phrase, a concept, and one that makes me want to dig my fingernails into sheetrock.
posted by datawrangler at 5:09 PM on June 22, 2018


All my life I thought I was alone in my hatred of the word slacks. I feel so validated tonight.
posted by little mouth at 5:13 PM on June 22, 2018


i really hate the words "tofurkey" and "nipples" i cannot stand to say either of them out loud ever and i mean EVER, sux for me right?
posted by capnsue at 5:18 PM on June 22, 2018


I can’t cope with ‘butt’ to refer to a part of the human body. ‘Water butt’? Fine. ‘Headbutt’? If you like. ‘Archery butt’? Yep. But the thing that keeps your legs on? ‘Bum’ or ‘arse’ please.
posted by stanf at 5:23 PM on June 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


My username was different back then but what I said in the old Things That Make You Go HURRRGGGHH thread linked in the Related Posts below still stands.
posted by elsilnora at 6:08 PM on June 22, 2018


"moist" is fine, for me, until paired with "towelette"

How do you feel about warm leatherette?
posted by 256 at 6:17 PM on June 22, 2018 [6 favorites]


Oh god yes, orientate and utilize deserve excision.

Orient and use, instead, please!
posted by darkstar at 6:20 PM on June 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


I am ever-so-slightly tempted to get a shirt that just says MOIST on it, but as my spouse rightly informs me, that would be trolling and that is bad.

Kinda surprised the word "suckle" hasn't shown up yet. Also "nugget."
posted by duffell at 6:54 PM on June 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


Wellness, and "impact" used as a verb.
posted by smoke at 7:01 PM on June 22, 2018 [2 favorites]


Y’all: The counterpart of “mentor” is “protégé(e).” We can argue about gender and the French language and the use of the final “e”. But it’s not “mentee”, despite what every mentoring program thinks.

On topic: I experience word annoyance, but not the sense of actual disgust that people describe with word aversion. Like, for a while there, every food ad seemingly had to include the phrase “ooey-gooey.” The condescending baby talk angered me, but it didn’t gross me out.

I don’t understand the “moist” thing at all and I secretly suspect it’s all peer pressure: people learn that they’re supposed to find it disgusting, so they do, lest others accuse them of being disgusting.
posted by snowmentality at 7:13 PM on June 22, 2018 [4 favorites]


About protégé: It's fascinating that tutor and protégé carry the inner meanings of protector and protected. (Also depressing that it is rarely the case.)
posted by sjswitzer at 7:20 PM on June 22, 2018


For obvious reasons, "fake","big","very","most", beautiful" now annoy me by association. "Mouthfeel" bothers my partner, due to its bad brainfeel. The phrase "Good eye" has also started to irritate me, as I now can't hear it as anything other than a bad Australian accent.

Words, and people, are both very odd.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 7:51 PM on June 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


Moist I think is an ugly word but it doesn't make me cringe; ointment feels gross to say but I don't mind it written; when I was in high school, though, "panties" made me cringe and recoil with revulsion whenever someone said it. I think it's that they're something adult women/young women wear, that it given this infantalizing suffix, and are often called "panties" when talking about sex/sexiness/etc. It felt gross that I was a teenager and grown adult men talked about "panties" -- it honestly felt threatening, like my functional underwear was being simultaneously sexualized and infantalized against my will. (And, to that end, it doesn't bother me one bit when another woman says something like "Put your big girl panties on and deal with it!") It doesn't make me recoil like it used to (probably because creepy-ass dirty old men are not such a threat to me these days), but I absolutely call them "underwear" or "underpants." And when I shop for them I am more likely to buy a brand that describes them as "high-leg briefs" than "high-leg panties."

Along the same lines, pantyhose. GAAAAAAAAAAAH. Nylons. Or stockings. Anything but "pantyhose," it's a gross word that makes me itch just hearing it. Like it makes me feel my leg hair poking through the hosiery and being pulled the wrong way, that's how bad a word it is.

My college roommate would physically recoil at the word "frou-frou" which was a word that I used frequently to describe an aesthetic that I disliked and it was very difficult to excise from my vocabulary! (Frou-frou was in at the time.) She couldn't explain why it bothered her, but she'd shiver or shudder and stick her tongue out with a "BLEH!" to get the word off of her. (This was before viral gross words.)

In terms of shifting word uses that make you want to slug people, I absolutely loathe loathe loathe "gifted." THE WORD IS GAVE. "She gifted it to me." NO. She GAVE it to you. You weren't "gifted" a bottle of wine, you were "given" a bottle of wine -- "given a bottle of wine as a gift" if you MUST. I have accepted that this is a word that is entering the English language and cannot be stopped and I need to shut up about it, but I have to drive my fingernails into my palms to stop myself from complaining bitterly and at length every time someone uses it in my hearing.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:53 PM on June 22, 2018 [14 favorites]


The one I loathe is volunpeer. A site I frequent that uses digital volunteers came up with that smarmy portmanteau of volunteer and peer. No, just no.
posted by gudrun at 7:59 PM on June 22, 2018 [2 favorites]


There are a lot of words in fashion right now that I just cannot bear for their infantile nature - most of them words for body parts or things of a vaguely sexual nature, but I guess that's America for you. Things like, pee, poop, panties, cooter, baggie - in fact the whole unnecessary '-ie' suffix annoys me terribly.

Also I am right with Eyebrows McGee, 'gifted' should be eliminated with prejudice, along with 'thrifted', 'upcycled' and 'handcrafted'.

I DID NOT 'HANDCRAFT' THE THING. I *MADE* IT. IT IS *ART*, NOT *CRAFT*. FUCK YOU VERY MUCH.

I'm sorry, I think I need a drink...
posted by HypotheticalWoman at 8:12 PM on June 22, 2018 [1 favorite]




Not to put too fine a point on it, but: crampons. A word coined by a dude, no doubt, because no woman would ever think that a something that sounds like a portmanteau of "cramp" and "tampon" was a good idea.

(The fact that there are "anti-balling crampons" adjusts the balance somewhat.)
posted by Westringia F. at 8:32 PM on June 22, 2018 [9 favorites]


My linguistic pet peeve: There's no such thing as "undergrad school." It's called college.

You weren't an "undergraduate student," you were a college student. And you most certainly did not "do your undergraduate work at Berkeley." Get off your pretentious high horse, because college kids don't "do work"... you just went to school at Cal.

Now get off my lawn Quad!
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 9:05 PM on June 22, 2018 [2 favorites]


I can recall conversations with friends about words we enjoy (I'll always bring up "aquiline") but not word aversions.

But the phenomenon surrounding "moist" -- along with an introduction to other mildly antagonizing words -- was introduced to me a bit more than a decade ago from the now-defunct NBA blog Wizznutzz (previously & previously; most links not working). I know that Jon Bois' sports coverage is a hit here on the blue; Wizznutzz chronicled the Gilbert Arenas-era Wizards ('03-'07 or so) with a similarly absurd bent.

Here's some of their old posts. You'll find a few gratuitous uses of "moist" and another favorite of theirs: "pliant". An article written by the Wizznutzz bloggers -- for McSweeney's! -- uses another pet phrase of theirs that, for me, never fails to act as a 'verbal wedgie' of sorts: "sliced meats".

Wizznutzz (@wzzntzz) lives on in twitter, where there's an occasional laugh-out-loud 'incite', but I miss the mischevious word play from their longer blog posts.

"Be a good listener, because sometimes the pizza man knocks quietly."
posted by Theophrastus Johnson at 9:19 PM on June 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


I hate when people say 'sammich' instead of 'sandwich'.

Well, of course: in my late grandmother’s accent, it was ‘sammidge.’ Also for reasons obscure she was certain you would was dishes but warsh clothes. Anyway.

I honestly have no words that irrationally squeam me out, although I recognize that my freshly-coined verb for ‘to make squeamish’ May so that for others. Sorry.

However, like others above, I get entirely rationally irritated by pointless trendy neologisms and portmanteau words that seem to have sprung from Wired’s bullpen. ‘Webinar’ is one such. Another came to mind earlier this evening.

Mrs Biscuit and I are this weekends watching Stephen Fry performing a series of three plays under the general title Mythos. These are all about the vast tapestry of Greek myth, and how the characters in them reflect ordinary life (The three plays are called Heroes, Men, and Gods.)

These plays are nominally based on his recent book Mythos, but for the play Men, it was a freewheeling but cunningly structured talk on the connections among dozens of figures from Greek legends and their parallel stories, and it has almost no material pulled from the book. And ‘play’ is kind of a misnomer as well – each play is essentially two hours of Fry sitting in a comfortable chair, speaking directly to the audience, with minimal assistance from lighting and music cues. He is a dazzlingly skilled storyteller.

And this brings me to the rational annoyance with graceless neologisms: just after we had both seen this ingeniously-structured and fascinating talk, I heard one of my fellow audience members praising it as ‘edu-tainment.’

Naturally I beat him to death and threw him in the river.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:54 PM on June 22, 2018 [3 favorites]


no jury in the world would convict you
posted by poffin boffin at 10:01 PM on June 22, 2018 [3 favorites]


Not to put too fine a point on it, but: crampons. A word coined by a dude, no doubt, because no woman would ever think that a something that sounds like a portmanteau of "cramp" and "tampon" was a good idea.

Except that its use predates the word tampon by about three centuries.

The word I hate, and I can't articulate why, is caress.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 10:03 PM on June 22, 2018


Impact and gift are just fine as nouns, but those words grate on my last nerve when used as verbs.

I understand that language is fluid, but I do not understand why anyone ever felt the need to make these and related (e.g., "incentivize", for crying out loud!) changes in standard use.
posted by she's not there at 10:11 PM on June 22, 2018


stillnocturnal: "its unguent. Ugly ugly word. Ungulate is fine though, I think the difference is the hard g."

And this folks is how I learned that for appriximately 2.5 decades I have been misreading the word "unguent" as hard-g "ungwent"


(Count me among those who cannot think of any individual word hate:
My mentee, whilst in the midst of his undergrad work at Berkeley, wore moist putrescent slacks to the handcrafted artistanal edutainment presentation titled: "How to Utilize Panties while Impacting the Rate Snarky and Smarmy Commenters Burglarize Metafilter Threads"
See? Perfectly cromulent.)
posted by namewithoutwords at 10:33 PM on June 22, 2018 [3 favorites]


I do not like saying the word panties. I dunno why. It just seems wrong. I wonder if that is on a lot of people's list.

I thought that we dealt with this in the 1950s;

Judge Weaver: Mr. Biegler, you finally got your rape into the case, and I think all the details should now be made clear to the jury. What exactly was the undergarment just referred to?

Paul Biegler: Panties, Your Honor.

Judge Weaver: Do you expect this subject to come up again?

Paul Biegler: Yes, Sir.

Judge Weaver: There's a certain light connotation attached to the word "panties." Can we find another name for them?

Mitch Lodwick: I never heard my wife call 'em anything else.

Judge Weaver: Mr. Biegler?

Paul Biegler: I'm a bachelor, Your Honor.

Judge Weaver: That's a great help. Mr. Dancer?

Claude Dancer: When I was overseas during the war, Your Honor, I learned a French word. I'm afraid that might be slightly suggestive.

Judge Weaver: Most French words are.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:34 PM on June 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


I am ever-so-slightly tempted to get a shirt that just says MOIST on it

This was actually a pretty common experience for Canadian high school kids in the 90s....
posted by oulipian at 11:28 PM on June 22, 2018


The one I loathe is volunpeer.

Not to worry, it's phonologically unstable! (Though I guess it could still catch on, it's just that it would probably morph into volumpeer...)

And this folks is how I learned that for appriximately 2.5 decades I have been misreading the word "unguent" as hard-g "ungwent"

That's not a misreading, that's the standard pronunciation. Merriam-Webster does list un-jent as an alternative, but they mark it with ÷ which is their symbol for "some people may judge you if you say this".
posted by aws17576 at 11:38 PM on June 22, 2018 [5 favorites]




I can’t read about squicky words without watching Bulbous Bouffant.
posted by oulipian at 12:00 AM on June 23, 2018 [3 favorites]


I can't stand the word boobs. Such an ugly, boobish word for those lovely pleasure and milk giving orbs.

Oh, and incentivize makes me want to hurl.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 1:44 AM on June 23, 2018 [4 favorites]


And this folks is how I learned that for appriximately 2.5 decades I have been misreading the word "unguent" as hard-g "ungwent"

That's not a misreading, that's the standard pronunciation. Merriam-Webster does list un-jent as an alternative, but they mark it with ÷ which is their symbol for "some people may judge you if you say this


Yeah, I'm a book-learning kid, don't trust my pronunciation on anything. My family still mocks me for the one time I totally mangled the word gymkhana. This particular dictionary, UK version is how I would pronounce it, which I suppose isn't a *soft* soft g but feels softer than in ungulate... I don't know. )
posted by stillnocturnal at 2:35 AM on June 23, 2018


Basically unguent involves too high a ratio of vowels for its own good, and simultaneously reminds me of "bung" and "goo", both of which are sort of gross words.
posted by stillnocturnal at 2:42 AM on June 23, 2018


I'm a terrible Australian because I have a visceral reaction to Australian slang.
posted by daybeforetheday at 3:54 AM on June 23, 2018


As others have pointed out, I don't think the aversion to moist and panties is all that closely related to how the words sound, and mostly related to how they are used (often to describe and adorn vulvas). Especially among pubescent/teen/young adult girls and women who are taught to associate those words with grossness, dirtiness, or general creepiness. Thus, I reject the article's central premise and grouping of the moist-hating phenomenon together with the hatred of, say, meal.
posted by likeatoaster at 4:46 AM on June 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


"Post-partum depression"

worst cereal ever
posted by thelonius at 5:57 AM on June 23, 2018 [4 favorites]


Fungible
posted by MT at 6:02 AM on June 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


For me? It's lowkey and highkey. Just say secretly vs. not-so-secretly (or obviously, seriously, etc.).

Anyone who says these instantly comes across trying way too hard.
posted by Delia at 6:11 AM on June 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


"Low-key" doesn't mean "secretly". If we're converting it to non-slang, it would probably be closer to "kind of".
posted by inconstant at 6:50 AM on June 23, 2018


My brother-in-law absolutely *hates* the word dollop. So naturally, we use it quite often every time the family gathers. "Richard, can I interest you in another dollop of potatoes?"
posted by Lizard at 7:39 AM on June 23, 2018 [4 favorites]


A lot of words get on my nerves. I'd say toothsome is on the top of my list.
posted by missmerrymack at 8:46 AM on June 23, 2018 [5 favorites]


I think there's a distinction between words that are considered poor because of usage (e.g. "utilize" instead of "use," trendy suffixes like "-gate") and words that just, inexplicably, creep you out.

For me, that word is....

















Tenleytown
posted by Morpeth at 9:39 AM on June 23, 2018


I can't say I'm hugely averse to many individual words (some grammatical constructs, sure, but not individual words). But cutesy talk does irritate me, in particular things like 'dellicious', as in 'delicious, delicious food'...

Oh, and I just remembered 'yummy'. No-one over the age of five (except someone talking to a child under the age of five) has any call to use that word. I find I stop reading any cookery article or blog that uses it... which means, I guess, that I am averse to at least one word.
posted by 43rdAnd9th at 2:11 PM on June 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


+1 on “yummy” and its corporate cousins, “clippy” (binder clip), “cubie” (cubicle), and “yucky” (to assess other people’s choice of lunch)...always from the same folks who set Kristin ITC as their preferred email font.

Come to think of it, my former office had a bizarre culture of emulating toddlers in nearly every possible way.
posted by armeowda at 4:13 PM on June 23, 2018 [3 favorites]


The Irate Gaming Editor presents: words you are no longer allowed to use in your video game:
"Corruption." (I feel very strongly about this one.)
"Darkness" or "Light."
"Combo."
"(something) Points," where (something) is anything except "experience" or "hit."
posted by JHarris at 5:07 PM on June 23, 2018


"Install" used as a noun. "Migrate" used to describe the transfer of data.
posted by A. Davey at 5:17 PM on June 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


I do dislike words that have lost their true meaning. Mainy due to commercial usage. Artisanal. Hearty. Healthful. All empty syllables now.

Along those lines- bespoke.

"Moist" and "crevice" have never bothered me. "Panties" has, and so have "bile" and "chyme." And "masticate," and "toothsome." One of my least favorite words is "fetus." I hate the look of it and the sound of it. It's somehow worse when spelled foetus. I don't mind "embryo" or "baby," but "fetus"... bleh. But I never liked "feet" either and maybe that's why. Feet Us.

But I tend to be most repulsed by words when they become co-opted by marketers, to the point where I feel like I can't say them anymore.
posted by bananana at 5:40 PM on June 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


I despise all cutesy words like preggers, sammich, or prezzies. I don’t even get the point, as they don’t save any syllables or phonemes. I also loathe the word “stinky.” I can hardly stand to type it.

As for “moist,” I legit loathed it until everyone started saying how much they loathed it, and now it doesn’t bother me at all. Go figure. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by holborne at 6:07 PM on June 23, 2018 [3 favorites]


Chic.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:48 PM on June 23, 2018


Chic

So true. Hearing Chic always makes me freak out.
posted by gusottertrout at 9:05 PM on June 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


They're all good dogs words Brent
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 5:13 AM on June 24, 2018


Off of "furbaby", I have come to loathe any variation of doggo speak. It's cloyingly infantile and it will never end. Your dog is probably awesome but holy crap stop it.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 7:27 AM on June 24, 2018 [3 favorites]


If I really think about the word "chic," I can't help but remember being at the state spelling finals at age nine or so, when I was asked to spell "chic" and spelled "sheik." I had to stand my ground up there while they decided whether I was wrong or not. They let me pass, with the distinct air of having done me a favor.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:40 AM on June 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


that was a gift - it is pronounced as in "Sheik Yerbouti", right?
posted by thelonius at 8:54 AM on June 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


in fact the whole unnecessary '-ie' suffix annoys me terribly.

extra contempt to people who insist on classifying everyone with a diminutive name - "techies", "foodies", and so on
posted by thelonius at 10:04 AM on June 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


babies
posted by poffin boffin at 2:35 PM on June 24, 2018 [4 favorites]


Operationalize.
Deliverables.
Proactive.
Solutioning.
posted by duffell at 6:08 PM on June 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


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