Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Words We Hate & Words We Love

Kristi Gustafson at the Times Union talks about words we hate. According to Ben Zimmer, executive producer of the Visual Thesaurus, we most often hate words because of their sounds or because of their “’icky’ associations. Sometimes we hate words for no particular reason at all. On the other hand, words we love are generally associated with positive meanings.

For me, I hate the word “hammy,” whether it’s used in the “I think I just strained my hammy” context or the “I’ll have the ‘Moons Over My Hammy’” scenario. I just can’t stand the sound of the word or the inane way people use it to refer to either a muscle or a breakfast meat.

What words do you hate?

4 comments:

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I'd go with the article writer on "panties." Hate that! I think it infantilizes women.

mike mitchell said...

"closure".....cringe every time I hear it.

Dave said...

"Hate" might be too strong a word, but I get flummoxed by words that, when you stare at them too long, don't seem like words at all. Tri it with "signal" or "restate".
Maybe I've just been working too hard lately.

mike mitchell said...

Oh, and "twitter"....that one grows more irritating by the day. Which is interesting because I am always amused when I hear someone being called a "twit". So, for instance: "Only a twit would twitter" is a sentence that imbues me with ambivalence. I also strongly dislike the words "imbue" and "ambivalence".

On the other hand, I have always been enamored with "crestfallen".....