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Literary moist aversion

Over the years, we've viewed the phenomenon of word aversion from several angles — a recent discussion, with links to earlier posts, can be found here. What we're calling word aversion is a feeling of intense, irrational distaste for the sound or sight of a particular word or phrase, not because its use is regarded […]

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Hydrated and delicious

A food writer recently tried to find an effective euphemism for moist, in order to avoid the associated word-aversion problems (Hate Moist? You're Not Alone", Huffington Post 12/10/2012): At HuffPost Taste, the word moist comes up a lot in our work and, we have to admit, it nauseates us. It's an occupational hazard we can't seem […]

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An inventory of postings on peeving etc.

A partial inventory of postings on language rage, language peeving, word aversion, and word attraction on Language Log and AZBlog, here. I ran out of steam early this year, so the inventory is reasonably complete only to that point.

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Hated words

The most recent xkcd distills a concentrated essence of word rage and word aversion triggers:

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"Toot chuckle lil' kidnap Snooki"

Tominda Atkins, "Words we hate. Discuss.", 2/22/2011: We all have them, and we can't explain why. Words that just sound like nails on a chalkboard to our unique little snowflake ears. Here are mine. What are yours? toot chuckle lil' kidnap Snooki There are probably more, but when I hear or read those words, I […]

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Six words

According to Dan O'Brien, these are "Six Words That Need To Be Banned from the English Language": moist, jowls, bulbous, yolk, slurp, pulp. (Sorry, Dan.)

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Word rage wins again

A few days ago, Michelle Pauli in the Guardian's Books Blog asked "Which words make you wince?": 'What word do you hate and why?' is the intriguing question put to a selection of poets by the Ledbury festival. Philip Wells's reply is the winner for me – 'pulchritude' is certainly up there on my blacklist. […]

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Prescriptivist pain

9 Chickweed Lane, for June 15, illustrates something about prescriptivist pain:

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Word Attraction

Over the years, several LL posts have documented the irrational aversion that people sometimes feel to certain words — a strong negative reation that is apparently not related to the meaning, or to any alleged fault in grammar or usage, but to the sound or feel of the word itself. (See the links in "Moist […]

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Moist aversion: the cartoon version

Rob Harrell's Big Top comic takes on word aversion: (Click on the image for a larger version.)

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