Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Word Nerd

Do you have a particular word that makes you cringe? I do. In fact, I have several. Most of them cause me to cringe when I hear them, but one or two can give me a tic by just seeing them. Is this weird? (Shut up. I never claimed to be normal. I have blamed my weirdness on my children, but really, if you know me, you know that to be a complete and total fabrication on my part.) My family knows that if they want to get under my skin they can simply utter one or two words and I will get the heebie jeebies.

I actually keep a list of words that drive me crazy. Yes, I do. See? Weird. On the flip side, I keep a list of words that I absolutely love--to balance out the weird I Hate These Words List. The words I hate are not as numerous as the words I love, but they are twice as potent. If I hear a word I hate, then I have to cancel it out by thinking of two words I love. It's the Crazy Lady's Fuzzy Math Horrible Word Theorem. So let's say one of my ornery offspring says the word "moist" just to watch me shudder. (Truly, I shuddered just typing that word.) If I don't immediately follow it with two of my favorite words, then I get an ear worm of the word I hate. All. Day. Long. My kids love it. They yell "MOIST!" and immediately I must say something like "shenanigans adagio!" to counteract the Horrible Word. It can make me sound an awful lot like I'm at Hogwarts with Harry, casting spells.

I know that I am not alone in disliking the word "moist." I have discussed this with other people. See? I'm not such a freak after all. I'm not sure what it is about the word that is so distasteful, maybe it's the sound, I don't really know. I just know if you say it to me, I will hate it. It's not, however, the only word on the I Hate These Words List. Otherwise the list would be The I Hate THIS Word List and it wouldn't be much of a list, would it? I also dislike the words tinkle, fecund, ointment, wad, magma, and panties.

And now, to counteract all of the icky words that make me shudder, I will have to type and reread these words several times: soliloquy, chicanery, ephemeral, pedestrian, adagio, fisticuffs, kibble, shenanigans, snarky, spelunking, and ubiquitous.

Okay. Now it's your turn. Do you have any words that make you want to puncture your eardrums with a rusty knitting needle when you hear them? Are you a complete word nerd like me? Do you have words that you love to see and hear? Tell me about them in the comments. And if you've never commented before, here's an opportunity to chime in and join me in my word nerdery. C'mon Lurkers, de-lurk with your comments and tell me I'm not alone. Bonus points if you can string your words together in a sentence.

Ready? Go!

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