Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Words We Hate

My family and I were having a conversation a while back about certain words that make us shiver. You know those words, you read them or inadvertently say them and shudder or want to slap the writer with your mechanical pencil? A few of mine are:
  • moist
  • crotch
  • puss
  • creamy
  • amazing
  • very
Many more. They kind of come and go depending on my mood. 

And phrases. I have phrases that I parrot, but truly hate when I have to hear them. Most of them are business-speak. Company culture can really make me retch; just a little bit.
  • reach out - as in "I reached out to Mr. Sprocket."
  • at the end of the day - who's day may I ask?
  • on the same page - most of the time we are not even reading the same book
  • in and of itself - wtf is this?
  • take a meeting - take it where?
  • have a face to face
  • folks - hate this one passionately, I am not "folks"
  • bottom line - let's leave my bottom out of this
  • teachable moment - gag
My daughter, Bella, sent me an article yesterday that I read with relish, talking about this very thing. Word aversion. Moist being at the top of the list. Apparently it's at the top of everyone's list!

The article made me poke around and read more. The comment sections of a few articles were the BEST! Apparently everything makes someone retch. Language is powerful. The emotions that certain words evoke are both unexplainable and fascinating.

For instance, here's a list of "do not say" words and phrases I found on Vox Critica.
  • Nowadays (or these days)
  • Trenchant 
  • Heady stuff
  • Piqued my interest
  • Football (to mean soccer)
  • Foodie
  • Scenester
  • Reported (when applied to someone else’s opinion), also “informs us that...”
  • Literally (to mean really)
  • Proverbially (to mean figuratively)
  • At the end of the day
  • Apropos of nothing
  • For all intents and purposes
  • Just sayin’
  • No offense
  • As it were
  • Having said that
I kinda hate "foodie" too. Really? You like to eat and you're a "foodie?" Does that mean I'm a "coffeeyy?" Sorry, that was really bad. Hard to resist myself at times.

And here's a list of "do not say" that Kurt Andersen (former editor of New York magazine) left pinned to a wall after he had been let go (fired).
  • authored
  • bigs (meaning "prominent people")
  • bistro (okay in restaurant reviews, but sparingly)
  • boast (meaning "have")
  • celeb
  • comely
  • comfort food
  • duo
  • don (meaning "put on")
  • dubbed
  • eatery
  • eponymous
  • fin de siecle
  • flicks
  • hails from
  • hubby
  • indie (exception granted for indie rock)
  • intone
  • lifestyle
  • maven
  • New York's finest
  • overly
  • penned
  • queried (meaning "asked")
  • sentences beginning "result" or "reason"
  • scripted
  • sport (as a verb)
  • staffed/staffer
  • tapped (meaning "chosen")
  • , um,
  • , uh,
  • , well,
  • A who's who of
  • zeitgeist
What would you add to these lists? Are there certain words or phrases that make you run for the toilet? Speaking of that - toilet is one of my cringing words!


Bonnie said...

Multitasking. OMG, like it's a good thing to spend your time in manic behavior!

Input, as in, "please give me your input." That's "feedback," "ideas," or "comments," you nerd!

One guy I worked with, when asked, "how are you?" would always reply "Peachy." Do you mean "peachy" as in fingernails on a chalkboard?

One guy we both worked with, Deb, said, "Lock and load" as his approval to move ahead on a project. That always gave me the creeps. Guns and ammo in the workplace? I don't THINK so!

Deborah said...

OMG Bonnie! I remember that! Do you remember the woman (girl) that would say "intensive purposes"? LOL!

Of course, I recently discovered that I had been hearing/saying unkept rather than unkempt. OMdearG! lol again. I really do love words.

Bonnie said...

Deb, this one I always loved, "I am very detail-orientated" instead of "detail-oriented."

Karen said...

We know someone who starts every single expression of a thought with... "At the end of the day, when all is said and done".....and then he goes into his explanation of whatever it is he's pointing out.

Hey, how about shutting up until the end of the day when it's all said and done and we're not standing near you anymore.

My husband always says... I need to keep TRACT of that. *sigh*

Just sayin.


T said...


At the top of my taboo words list. Painful!

Hubby? What's "hubby" rhyme with, for starters.

But I admit to using some of these that you've listed.

I'll have to compile my list when I get a minute. Good topic!

deb-oh-rah said...

What irritates me is when men mention their wives, instead of saying their name, they say "the wife" -- what is that? Women don't say "the husband."

David Macaulay said...

thought provoking - hate 'touch base' myself. Carnage too.

G said...

The phrase "That is in my wheelhouse" needs to disappear. Too many people using it today.

Shelley Belley said...

What about phlegm?:

Danielle L. Green said...

Hmm...there's so many words I could list but a lot of them are dirty. :)

Sara Louise said...

I hate, hate, hate the word moist. Hate it.

Deborah said...

Bonnie - I'm still laughing thinking. loll

Karen - my first husband (wasband) would always say something was "filphy". I still laugh!

tPretty - tubby? lol! I am guilty of saying hubs from time to time.

Deb - I wonder if that's the reason I sometimes say "the husband"? I'm so weird; I've never minded being called "the wife". Guys are very proprietary. ha!

David - oh yes! I HATE that one as well!

G - yes! I had to google that once to see WTF?? lol

Shelley-belly - gag! lolol!

Danielle - the dirty ones are the best!

Sara Louise - shudder! lol