July 10, 2009

My Worst Words

I am a huge fan of the UK's Guardian newspaper for its alternative point of view and myriad stories that we never see in the US news. I also love it when they ask their readers for their point of view on things and I have found some of the funniest writing there.
Right now, they're running a story on words that make you wince. Not as much for being gramatically incorrect, but because you can't bear the sound of them. Most of the words are not obsene or disgusting, but ones that just make people squirm. One of the most frequently cited is:That doesn't bother me too much, but wound does.It is usually prefaced by gaping or open, and it just turns me green. Same as this word:I had a friend who couldn't abide the words snack or sneaker. The combination of those sounds made her crazy. (In an e-mail, she told me that with an eight-year old son, she can now tolerate snack.) What makes me crazy is the practice of morphing a perfectly good noun into a verb. The worst example for me is gifted or gifting. What's wrong with gave?
What is the word that just makes your skin crawl? Why?

34 comments:

  1. Fantastic graphics, Meg. "Moist" and "infection" are particularly effective. (ick!)
    I can't think of any words that give me the willies... not right off the top of my head anyway. What does bother me (a lot!) is when perfectly good words get mangled and then become common. The one I hate most right now is "proly" for probably. First email, then texting, now twitter. How long before everyone forgets how to spell?

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  2. Tracy... orientated. what's wrong with oriented? there are just soooo many!

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  3. Ohhhhh Mrs. B! HATE that one, too! People who use classy, aren't. And as we say in my house, klassy with a K.

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  4. "GIFTED" AAAUGH MUST. NOT. KILL.

    That one drives me CRAZY. But it's a grammar thing, not a sound thing. I'm sure I can think of some...

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  5. What drives me crazy is people that leave the 't' sound out of words lately.
    ki-in for kitten
    bu-in for button
    We-in for Wheaton
    One of my kid's computer games said "press the bu-in". Nice way to teach kids proper English!!!

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  6. Babe has always been a red flag for me.

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  7. Moist Infected Wound.
    Need I say more ??

    xx

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  8. Bird... When I lived in the UK, the dropped "t" was a sign of a very uneducated speaker. DO NOT let this happen to your children!

    Watch this and listen to her accent. It's like fingernails...

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  9. Redacted. Inculcated. Doctor when used by Ph.D.'s in social settings.

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  10. I thought of one! When a straight man uses the word "lovely" when he's talking to a woman, especially in a sexy, I-wanna-love-you-up voice... I can hardly type this... I've given myself the creeps just thinking about it!

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  11. HBD... I hate "redacted" too! But more for the way people use it than for the way it sounds or the creepieness of it!

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  12. I can not abide VOMIT, it makes me want to- I am sorry you are sick but don't say I just vomited OR
    Hun- as in -You are out on a construction site and some "worker" calls you HUN- Wow- I just blow up like a top- No matter who is there. makes me crazy just thinking about it. thanks Meg- for getting me all worked up! la

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  13. LA... here in Baltimore, Hon is a term of endearment. All of the old-style waitresses call you Hon. They even have an annual Hon Fest!

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  14. Gail, northern CaliforniaJuly 10, 2009 at 7:40 PM

    Suck, as in "that really sucks" especially when it comes from an otherwise lovely young lady. I don't even like to hear boys use that term and their language is always pretty vulgar.

    Vulgar ... that's another ugly word.

    Re-gifting because I think it's wrong to do so.

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  15. The sound of words that end in "ing" being pronounced as if the ending was "een." Makes my toes curl. Katie Couric is a major offender, can't listen to her.

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  16. I am so with Mrs. B on "classy." I also hate "couch" and "drapes." Really drives me nuts, though probably not as offensive as a few others mentioned here.

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  17. depressed. i read some star yesterday who said he was depressed and it really affected me negatively.

    that's the best I can do, my friend!

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  18. Karen, there is no way I can even say "classy" without being sarcastic and smirky!

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  19. Oh what fun! I love this post. I agree completely on the verbing of nouns (that was intentional by the way). I had a former boss who was always "transitioning" from one place to another, why couldn't he just go from here to there! My other peeve is the use of "unique." Just like when something is "classy". . . pick one of those adjectives and you can be pretty certain that the thing being described is neither.

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  20. Utilize. Going Forward. Facilitate. No problem. Hopefully.

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  21. Filthy, is one, cheap, some are actually phrases, ex: "that's just the way I am", and "I'm doing the best I can'"

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  22. Veggies instead of vegetables -- it's infantile.

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  23. Most words uttered by Sarah Pallin.

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  24. ...disrespecting and disrespected...

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  25. Utilize...I cannot think of one instance in which it cannot be replaced by the word use. Why not go with the short and simple option?

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  26. Wonderful post! I too am horrified by the verb'ing of our language, and the most universally accepted, party. Party is an event, to party is just not classy, there will be no veggies served.
    I loved reading this!

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  27. Making L-ve.

    (can't even type it......)

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  28. Gail, northern CaliforniaJuly 19, 2009 at 11:14 AM

    I've already posted once but I've discovered another irritating word that adult women use constantly: thingie.

    This could go on and on....but it's so much fun!

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  29. How about television announcements of school "closures" due to weather - this really gets to me. The word "closure" has been morphed into meaning "closings". Why not just say "closings", and use "closure" as it was meant to be used?

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  30. A word that makes my skin crawl is jelly. The image that pops into my head of wiggly, jiggly, gelatinous (by the way, that word bothers me too) matter makes me sick to my stomach. I can only eat PB&J sandwiches, not Peanut Butter and ----- sandwiches.

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