Say 'Moist." Ugh!

Watching the Today show this morning (I confess), the anchors were talking about words that people have an aversion to.  Yeah, right, I thought.

But when they started listing them, maybe they're not so wrong.  Topping the list?  You guessed it.  Moist. Then came pus. Fudge. Loaf.  Yeast.  Poop.  And Willy Geist's uncle's absolutely detests "cheeses."

People just get crawly when they hear these words, for some reason.  Kyrie O'Connor says some people actually have visceral reactions to certain words, "moist" being the leading contender.

She writes, "The phenomenon of word aversion—seemingly pedestrian, inoffensive words driving some people up the wall—has garnered increasing attention over the past decade or so."  He adds that, in a recent post on Language Log, University of Pennsylvania linguistics professor Mark Liberman "defined the concept as 'a feeling of intense, irrational distaste for the sound or sight of a particular word or phrase, not because its use is regarded as etymologically or logically or grammatically wrong, nor because it’s felt to be over-used or redundant or trendy or non-standard, but simply because the word itself somehow feels unpleasant or even disgusting.'

Is it the definition that repels people?  The way the word sounds coming out of your mouth?  Writers at The Huffington Post find that the word moist "nauseates" them.  While that's a bit strong, turns out moist is just about everyone everywhere's least favorite word.

The Huffington Post (unnamed) writer lamented that she had to use it all the time because she writes about food.  She even posted a hashtag for others who hate the word.  One respondent said it reminded him of the show, "How I Met Your Mother."  Won't go there.

Another said we were all being immature, and who wouldn't want to eat moist chicken?  Maybe people without a sense of humor.

Close seconds:  Slacks.  Crevice.  Pants.  Panties.  And, oh yes, ointment.








http://blog.chron.com/memo/2013/04/knowledge-drop-many-people-hate-the-word-moist/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/10/hate-moist-word-alternatives_n_2259254.html

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