Wednesday, February 15, 2012

RTW - Words I Hate, Words I Love

Today I'm hitting the pavement on YA Highway's Road Trip Wednesday. Today's prompt:

What words do you absolutely hate? Which ones do you adore?

There are lots of words that fall into either category, and I'm sure that someone will chime in with a word in comments and I'll be like "Yeah! that IS a heinous word!" But I'm going to go with the first word I thought of, a word that I dislike ever reading, whether in a cookbook, a parenting magazine or a book: MOIST.

I can trace this dislike all the way back to elementary school. (And I can link it to my Tumble 4 You 80's crush, Duran Duran, too. How's that for talented?) In one of the many teeny bopper magazines I'd squander coin on, there was a picture of Nick Rhodes next to a painting. All I remember about this painting was that it was the word 'moist' in the Roy Lichtenstein comic style. Nick Rhodes is standing next to the painting pouting, his lipstick unusually, well, moist.

What's wrong with this word? Nothing really. I just find it distasteful. I hate the inbetween-ness of it - how equivocal it is - not wet, not dry, but some degree in between. Even when used to describe roast chicken or cake, I don't like it. It probably comes from my early reading addiction to lurid romance novels. You know, the purpler the prose, the better. If things weren't moist, you weren't having fun. Of course, when I was reading these books, I hadn't even kissed a boy yet, so I didn't know better. But moist remains a world I can't like.

I love a lot of words - much too many to name. Our family love words, we love playing with words, because words are supposed to be fun and flexible, liquid (not moist!) We have words that we've made up for our family - words that define us and that link us to each other, and our memories. But I can't tell you them, because they're private. But one word that I can think of is CRAFT. I like it particularly when used as a verb. I like it because even if you're just writing a scene, you're really crafting it. Crafting evokes a sense of being hand-made, of taking elements, like stone and metal, mud and clay and using the dexterity of your hands to fashion the elements into something other. Transmogrified. I like that word, too.

What about you, what words do you love? And hate?


  1. I love Duran Duran. I did a quick google search to see if that picture you described would come up, but it didn't. My lunch break is over, so I had to settle for this:

    Duran Duran

  2. I understand many people's distaste for the word "moist." It has an onomatopoeic quality, but it's not the nicest of words, and isn't always used in the most pleasant of contexts.

  3. Oooh, I love transmogrified! Moist is on my list, too. I think it's a universally disgusting excuse for a word.

  4. @sara - i looked for that picture too, but couldn't find it. would have been great to include. Thanks for link to the pic - that's a serious overdose of lipgloss!
    @colin- I think the sound of it, the snapping 'ssst' sound definitely contributes to the distaste!
    @crystal - I think I like transmogrified because it has a slightly 'gothic' feel to it. I may just be projecting though!

  5. Eww, moist. I also hate this word.

    And yodel. Yodel is a close second.

  6. I like the words peripety, calliope, and relish. The are rather random choices, I know, but they came into my head. Harder to think of words I hate. I am annoyed by the word "just", but not because I hate it, but because I am addicted to it and use it too much in my writing. I've never gotten why people don't like moist, but maybe that's because I have dry skin and hate droughts. :)

  7. Transmogrified? Does it mean having turned into a cat? Or maybe back from having been in the form of a cat? ;-)

    I really like periphery, laconic, eviscerate, benign, transcend and PAYMENT, naturally!

    I'd never thought about moist, but it is a bit disgusting! I can't think of any words I've really taken against - it's more often the way people pronounce them (incorrectly!) that gets me!

  8. 'Moist' is a really disgusting word. I think it's in part the 'oi' sound in the centre, but then I'm not grossed out by 'point' or 'joint' (as in elbow). Who knows? 'Transmogrified' is a great word! :-)

  9. @LC - funny! I'm completely neutral on yodel. Though, if I say it in my head a lot, the dislike grows...
    @Sharon - I really like calliope, so musical sounding, which is appropriate!
    @LindaK - morphing your moggie into something else is usually frowned upon, no? Unless you turn her into a queen, which she already thinks she is ;)
    @Jaime - I think it's the 'ssst' sound along with the 'oi' sound that maximizes the yuck.

  10. I love the word hiltrum, although I can't find it in my dictionary. I may be spelling it wrong. Do I have to know the word to love it? Nah. Oh, I just said the word I hate. Nah. It's not really a word, is it? And are we required to not use the words that we detest? Nah.

    I'm new to your blog and I enjoy your style. I'll follow along.

  11. Very nice post. Since words are your thing, you might be interested in a series of posts I have been doing on the word play involved in cryptic crosswords. The first one is:
    It has now evolved into a daily series. I find it great fun - much better than ordinary crosswords.

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