Maybe its the way the words sound, or maybe it's what they represent. Here are my top 10 words that fall into that category:
- hack (as is 'life hack', something that makes doing a task easier)
- man cave
Some of these words bother me because of what they represent (phlegm, pus), while the very sound of others is annoying (surveil, hack, crotch, slather, panties, f***). 'Mansplain' is just a stupid word. And what about 'man cave'?
Interestingly, the word several Web sites list as the most objectionable is 'moist.' That word, which I seldom use and then only in reference to a cake, doesn't bother me at all. But apparently it does bother many people.
There is a variety of explanations about why people hate certain words, something known as 'word aversion.' Apparently certain words actually create negative physiological responses in the body. Certainly some words are disgusting because of the things they represent. That doesn't explain, however, why I despise the word 'panties' or 'slather.'
I guess it doesn't really matter why people have an aversion to certain words. Advertisers, however, might want to reconsider using the word 'moist' to describe their cakes or other baked goods But what other word could Duncan Hines print on its box of cake mix to convey the moistness of its product? My daughter, whose native language is not English, would sometimes refer to something as being moist rather than damp. The concepts are similar, but we can't refer to a cake as being 'damp.'
Are there certain words in English that make you cringe?