Thursday, July 10, 2008

Words I Hate--Okay Make That 'Intensely Dislike'

Words I HateEveryone has their little pet peeves of words they can't stand--and of course there are always the unspeakables that I wouldn't dream of printing here which go without saying--but is it just me or does it seem that every time you turn around there's an old word being used in a new way? And it's never in a way that contributes to the language, it's usually redundant, political or grammatically ridiculous.

Here's a few of the ones that make me shudder--and I'd love to hear your own because there were a couple that I couldn't remember but were right there on the tip of my tongue. Some new words that I'd just started hearing in a new fangled way that made me want to say "Did I just hear what I thought I heard?" Maybe one of you will suggest it here and put my mind at peace.

1. "Awesome." Let's start with one that's been holding on since 1982. Seems to me that this word means "awe-inspiring" but has deteriorated into meaning "ultra cool." But for some reason while "cool" is juvenile and slangy it sounds acceptable to me while any time I hear an adult say "awesome!" I want to shake them by the shoulders and say "You sound like you're still watching Sean Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemont! Grow up!" It's on a par with "totally radical" (or worse yet) "totally tubular!" in my book.

2. "Moist." No particular reason but I don't like this word. I guess it's because "moist" makes me think of fungal growth and mold and uncomfortable body odors--none of them good. You could argue that moist is what a good cake should be but unfortunately "moist" hasn't been reserved for Duncan Hines and crops up all over the place. I avoid it--the word that is, not the cake.

3. "Hate crime." Because other crimes are full of love and respect. This phrase irritates me because it makes it sound as if crime based on bigotry, prejudice and racism are worse than those based on corruption, revenge, selfishness and greed or that hate is only involved in crime when there's differences in skin color. Seems to be a political move to classify intolerance as the worst offense a person can commit (though it's bad--don't get me wrong) are we really trying to rank emotions here folks or can we just say that all crime comes from hate in one form or another? I don't care if you believe that O.J. really loved Nicole what he did was just as hateful as if he'd done it because she was white.

3. "Disrespect." Not the noun, the verb. This used to be a word relegated to the likes of Run DMC and their "posse" (another little word that could have made the list but missed the cuts), I didn't like it then but I tolerated it because it was kind of a niche word but when it crossed over into main stream I balked. To hear a politician at the podium say "They've disrepected America" makes me think "Oh no sir, I think that silly sentence has done plenty right there on its own!" Don't get me started on "dissed" which sounds sillier still and too close to the one with the "p" which I cannot tolerate.

4. "Sucks." Which reminds me . . . I said I wouldn't list unmentionable words here and they're so bad it's not worth the effort but I've got to say that suck/sucks/sucking/sucketh is about the worst word to enter mainstream language in "like" forever. I hear all sorts of people using it, it makes it into kids' movies, I hear people at church say it and every time it makes me want to shiver and say, "Do you even realize where that comes from?" Not from nursing babies, I'll say that much, and if you're clueless about what I'm talking about just stop and think. Yea, that's right. It's that horrible. I can't stand this one and wish people wouldn't just pick it up without a thought as to what it really means.

You could argue that no one really means that when they say it but does that even matter? That's where it came from and there are so many better words that would be just as effective in getting the point across. Like "stinks," "reeks" or even "fellate" or "imbibe." Okay I'm kidding with those last two. I don't think they're really going to catch on. Too bad--"Fellate" sounds pretty nasty doesn't it?

5. "Hoodie." Yes it's a hooded sweatshirt or sweater but that doesn't mean I have to like this ridiculous word. I will never wear a hoodie. I may wear a hooded sweater but never a hoodie. I'd feel like I was seven or something. I'd wear a skort first.

6. "Conversate." Have you heard someone say this because it's kind of funny when they do. I want to say, "Wait, wait--let me hear you say that again!" But then that's kind of rude I suppose. And since I'm the one saying "like" every other word (and I've tried to stop it, like, a million times really I have but the whole stupid thing is too thoroughly engraved into my synapses to delete now) that I suppose I have absolutely no moral ground whatsoever to stand on. But still, if you have the good fortune to "conversate" with someone and hear this fab word come up you're in for a treat.

7. "Transparent." I just noticed this one popping up everywhere until suddenly everyone wants to be transparent. Like we're talking Casper the Friendly Ghost here or something. Am I missing something because since when does "transparent" mean "honest"? It would be interesting to try to analyze why certain words generate new meanings and I've wondered if this is popular because if "transparent" means "honest" then someone who's dishonest suddenly is only "opaque." Opaque doesn't sound nearly as objectionable as dishonest now does it? Some of my favorite things are opaque--my jeans, my teeth, my minivan, donuts. Can't be that bad.

8. "Bling." Ugh ugh ugh. And one more "ugh" for good measure--UGH! I wish I could donate to a campaign that would strike this word from the language. Strike it down quick! Am I wrong or does "bling" refer to gangsta rapper-style jewelry? That's what I thought it meant but I heard it creeping up everywhere until every time I hear it it's like I'm seeing visions of Tupak Shakur floating in front of my eyes. Make it go away!

9. "Organic." I still remember the first time I ever heard this word used in anything but the strictest biological sense. I didn't get it for a minute and I had to do this quick little flow chart in my brain that went something like, "Wait a minute--he keeps using that word. I do not think it means what he thinks it means. They're selling organic vegetables? I'm pretty sure that yes, they are carbon-based, judging from the green leaves and healthy color but somehow they seem to think that this is noteworthy. Is there more to being carbon-based than I'd previously thought? It is the latest trend? I mean I'm organic myself, last time I checked, and I never knew this was supposed to be a good thing."

Then I heard it transfer over until it didn't merely mean "produced without pesticides" but included anything that springs from the earth spontaneously to a metaphor for unhibitied, unchecked development. As in "my blog has grown organically." Because letting my writing run around like some free-range chicken is better than laboring tirelessly over the editing and revising process, pruning and cutting back and grafting and weeding with careful control and precision. Have we thought that metaphor through yet? Yes, check me into the mental ward now folks because it gets my dander up every time I hear it.

10. "Sustainability." Took me a while to discover what they wanted me to think this word means and I'm still not sure I have it down but it grates nearly as bad as organic. Well, probably worse because it's newer and I haven't had as much time to become dulled to the pain. As best I can discover sustainability means not doing anything that might make environmental groups upset. As in Conoco Phillips saying (and I'm just making this up here): "We're going to work to promote sustainability." That just means they're going to mind their Ps and Qs and make darn sure their attornies and press agents are working double time to keep the watch groups happy. They won't do anything that could be filmed to look like it's taking something out of the ground or burning something that might have been taken out of the ground or putting something into someone's car that might have once been in the ground.

No wait, I still don't get it--what does sustainability mean?

11. "Literally." Could be stricken entirely from the English language and no one would ever be the wiser. Literally.

12. "Proactive." And right up there with "proactive" I would add "impacted." I feel somewhat rotten about including proactive on my list because I used to work for dear Mr. Stephen R. Covey, the man who invented the word in his Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and who really is quite a nice man. More specifically I worked for his company, Covey Leadership Center, and the only time I saw the Great Covey himself was when I was 10 months pregnant with Grace and was supposed to go to the company Christmas party but I cried for two hours before we left because my ankles were so swollen the only shoes I could wear were my tennis shoes. I can't remember what I did about the shoes--I can't imagine that I actually wore tennis shoes to the fancy party but then again I couldn't really see my ankles all that well so maybe I've just blotted the memory out.

But I digress. "Proactive" and "impacted" mean absolutely nothing. Unless you're a tooth and then you have my permission to be impacted otherwise I refuse to allow any impact to occur in the past tense. Forget "proactive" and just stick with active. It's kind of like saying "110%" when there's no such thing--I think when people say "proactive" they want to lead you to believe they're so darn active that they beat you to the punch and are active before you even think you need someone who's active. I prefer to activate upon necessity.

13. And finally? "Ghetto," "dope" and "dawg"--and any other inner city lingo that I dislike so much. I don't understand why someone would want to use words that intentionally associate them with drugs, crime and gangs. When did this become popular? Even Randy Jackson should be enjoined from ever using any of these words again. Of course that's coming from a woman who grew up saying "bad" when she meant "good." What do I know?

I guess if I don't like current slang I could always wait around for it to change. A couple weeks ago I was with some teens and they used the word "tight" to refer to someone. Last time I heard the word "tight" used in a way that didn't refer to tension it wasn't a very complimentary thing to say--as in "Man! My teacher is so tight! She gave us another pop quiz!" But it seemed like my knowledge of the slang wasn't enough to carry me through this conversation and I had to stop them and say, "You said she was 'tight?' Is that a good thing or a bad thing?"

At which point the whole group stopped, looked at me with this "What's up with granny here?" look then said, "Yea, it's a good thing" before going on from there. Who knew?

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Robin said...

It's funny how individual these things can be. I don't mind most of the words on your list, well, except for moist and conversate, those are just awful, oh and diss too. Hate that. But I can't stand peeps, as in hangin' with my peeps. Shudder.

Anonymous said...

Sarah Palin is so transparent


Rebecca Reid said...

I also can't stand "suck". Can people just think about what they are saying?! Anything is better than that word.

Kat Mortensen said...

Oh, there are so many!

I'm with Rebecca Reid on "suck", but I'm more of a grammatical purist and detest "irregardless" - which is redundant, and nucular when it should be nuclear.
Then there are two words I just don't like the sound of - gumption and umbrage. Don't know why - I just do. Maybe it's the "uh" sound. I really hate the use of the "F" word.


Sandy said...

That's funny. This topic was one of my first blog posts. I've always disliked the word "panties" and "salve" (blech!).

Anonymous said...

Ditto, Via, and Vice Versa are some other things that I hate.. ughhh and Uber... like in 'super uber'...

good post!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! I thought I was alone and actually, now when people say "oh, that is so weird", I can tell them there are others like me.

I absolutely cannot stand these words and/or combo's and they make me cringe:


and quite a few more BUT I have a favorite word! Do you?
Mine is *sparkle*

The Source said...

I hate "snap" and "tight". Teenagers sound stupid when they say it, but it's much worse when you hear an adult blurting out "Oh snap! I spilled coffee on my blouse."

My daughter just makes up her own words. Picture your 15 year old speaking to the entire church and telling how "Astonnded" she was at her first view of New Orleans. Huh??? Because her brain goes too fast to remember if she means astonished or astounded.

Jeana said...

I don't remember Sean Penn in The Breakfast Club. I remember Emilio Estevez, and his character seemed the most likely to say that. Are you thinking of Fast Time At Ridgemont High?

Irregardless, (I'm kidding, just thought I would throw another annoying word at you) I'm with you on awesome and sucks. Can't stand that word for the same reasons you listed!

My understanding is that a sustainable lifestyle is one that you can reasonably continue. For example, right now our country is highly dependent on oil, so with the prices skyrocketing it affects not only our transportation costs but food costs, etc, and it's a limited resource so some would say our lifestyle is not sustainable because at some point the oil will run out or it will get so expensive we simply can not continue to use it at the same rate.

In a similar way, learning to grow your own food makes your lifestyle more sustainable because you can continue that lifestyle no matter how high food prices get.

Unless you didn't really want a definition but just wanted to vent, in which case...vent on. I do agree that it's become a catch all that means, "Get off my back, tree huggers!"

United Studies said...

Oh...and another one to add to the list...."totes" which is now the slang word or totally. I cringe every time I hear someone say that!!

Michaele Sommerville said...

Wow, a PEEVE post!

:) The first tell-tale sign was the Sean Penn reference. He was Spicoli, in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. The fact that I know the movie reference should tip you off that I survived the Valley Girl language phenomenon/fiasco. And where was I living during the 80's? BARROW. Fill your head with that mental picture: mostly Inupiaq students in school, wearing gorgeous parkas, saying things like "Gag me with a spoon! Totally!"

Yep, vocal expression goes through not-so-flattering stages.

My least favorite term is "ethnic cleansing." Sounds like someone scouring the tub with Comet.

Shauna said...

My biggest word pet peeve at the moment is green, especially when it's used as a marketing gimmick and slapped on a bottle of something.

Tamara said...

Excellent post. I like totally agree. Especially about #4. I asked my husband not to say it, because I find it so vulgar. I also agree with Shauna - I am frustrated with the abuse of the word "green" as a marketing gimmick. Blech.

Anonymous said...

How do you come up with your lists? This list had me laughing and agreeing at the same time.

I can't stand "my bad". I cringe every time I hear it. One day my husband said it and I whipped around and asked him where he picked that up. I was shocked to hear that phrase coming from his normally refined vocabulary.

Mrs. Gray's Class said...

I don't like "sucks" either - I find it particularly offensive when they stick it in children's movies for no reason.

The overuse and misuse of "literally" and "actually" drive me crazy.

I can't get on board with organic and sustainability, because you know I'm a "greenie"! ha ha

Dawn Penguin said...

um... you *didn't* make it up ...


Kelly @ Love Well said...

FINALLY! Another person who intensely dislikes the word "moist." I shudder when someone says that word. Literally.


I've tried to come up with alternatives, since I like to bake and the m-word is pretty crucial to a discussion of good cakes. But so far, I got nothing.

Another pet peeve word of mine is "facial blemish" in all its derivatives (i.e., zit, pimple, etc.). Just don't like 'em.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on most of those! The phrase "hate crime" really bothers me, for the very reasons you gave. Well said! "Hoodie" is one I just started hearing recently. A local newscaster described a robbery suspect that the police were looking for as wearing a sounded really silly to me.

Unknown said...

I have to admit to being one of the fiercest users of literally! But, I think I succesfully striked the word "like" in it's incorrect usage from my writing and conversating (just threw that in there to bug you) vocabularies. :)

I also do not like hate crime..I am totally with you.

Next word to get rid You make a compelling argument, much better than my mom's ever sounded.

I don't mind transparent (I think I spelled that wrong) I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan, and I think transparent's comeback can be totally attributed to my hero JK Rowling.

We all use panties and we also love the word that my sister can't stand...crotch...c'mon, what should they call that part of their body? (ooo that gives me a good blog entry)

Scribbit said...

Oh Jeana--you're right, I totally misreferenced that (new word). I feel stupid enough that I've changed it. Didn't actually see either movie so I guessed and missed by a mile.

Amber M. said...

Your lists always crack me up. And I'm with y'all on "sucks".

Ice Cream said...

How about if I look the other way when you say, "like," and you do the same when I repeatedly say, "awesome?" Because that one is just not going to change for me. I've tried.

On a funny note, we had a youth speaker giving a great talk in church about keeping our language clean. He was venting his frustrations towards peers who felt they had to cuss to be cool. He said, "They feel they have to talk that way.. and... well, it just SUCKS!" I don't think anyone but the adults new that that was a bad word in and of itself. It was shocking and funny. =)

Anonymous said...

I would like to clear up a couple of things. Not all crime is based in hate. Hate crime is its own category. Unless you have experienced a hate crime or seen it take place in someone's life, you would have no idea what it feels like. People don't steal your car because they hate you. Having someone do something to you because they hate something you are or believe is much more malicious. Saying that all crime is a hate crime is not understanding the meaning of this type of crime.

Another thing I would like to clarify is that the English language is a growing language. We are constantly adding new words and meanings to our language. Just because a word has one meaning does not mean that that word will remain stagnant. Try studying an etymological dictionary. It is quite interesting and eye opening studying the history of language. Being open minded helps me really appreciate the English language.

Scribbit said...

At this point I should point out that I wrote this late last night and in the morning light I'm shocked at all my typos and mistakes--usually my posts sit for a while with some editing but this one was slapped off at the last minute and obviously quality control went out the window. Hey, sorry but I guess you get what you pay for right? :)

Mozi Esme said...

"Phat" bugs me. Or is it "fat?" I never know.

I wonder how I can add this list to my spellcheck list of nonwords - to make sure they're not in any posts I might submit to your writing contests! I think I'm guilty of some of them . . .

Annette Lyon said...

Yay! Someone else with linguistic peeves! Mine are usually things on the grammar end of things--people messing up imply/infer and the like. I get a twitch when I hear things like that. Which is often.

Lilibeth said...

As a high school teacher, I battle some of these expressions all the time. Several years ago when students began to use the word "sucks" it embarrassed me. I would explain to them why they shouldn't use it, and I still ask them not to, but I feel that I'm fighting a losing battle. We even have speakers who use the word now and parents. Nobody seems to care what it really means, and everybody feels that if they mean something different when they say the word, it's alright to say it. I try to explain that words have inherent meaning, and you can't call someone ugly and say that you meant beautiful so it's ok. Ah well. I could discuss this all day. Another word I detest is "freakin".

Anonymous said...

I use "awesome" and "sucks". I hope I don't annoy you next week with those!

And on occasion I'll use the word "Bling", but it's always dripping with sarcasm. I can't use it in a serious manner!

Maddy said...

Well I'm very impressed, it's like a test of how well we know the American language.

I knew them all except 'conversate.' I don't think I could use it in a sentence either.

Sharlene said...

Awesome! I use the word awesome. I hope to keep it alive to embarrass my children with it. Honestly most of those words don't bother me but maybe because I am in a more urban region of the country? I don't know. When the common slang starts to annoy you (and alot of it annoys me) I think it is a sign of getting old. Alas- we knew this day would come...

Scribbit said...

Sharlene--you may really be onto something there. I still say "cool" which I can recognize is stupid coming from a 38 year old woman but I can't help using it.

I hope this all doesn't sound completely grumpy and rotten--I should come up with a list of words I love like Mannequin suggests--but isn't it fun to pick on the words you like? It's such a subjective thing and everyone has different words they hate.

I always feel rather guilty when people apologize for spelling or grammatical errors because they really don't bother me hugely. I mean I try to keep them out of my writing but in comments or in speech? I'm a repeat offender for sure.

Stephanie said...

This was a hilarious post - it made me laugh, it made me smile. I agree with you about word #4. We were never allowed to say that word growing up and we've officially banned it from our home too. It sounds so "yucky."

I agree with most of the words on your list, although I think "hoodie" is fun and I have quite a few of those in my closet.

I like using the word "awesome" in its original sense ("awe-inspiring").

I agree with Robin about "peeps." It sounds so flippant.

I can't think of my own words to add to the list at the moment, but I'll come back and comment if any come to mind.

TheOneTrueSue said...

I love the word awesome. I do. It conveys just the right airheaded touch of blissful approval or sarcastic resignation. (You didn't know awesome could be all of that, did you? But it SO CAN.) I know I overuse it on my blog, but it's just so handy.

I'm also guilty of saying "suck" a lot. Especially in post titles. Everytime I use it, I think - that's so crude, isn't there a better way I could state that? And then I just post it anyway. It's my most frequent swear word. When I wrote about how much I hated Twilight, it just worked better to say it sucked. It appropriately conveyed my level of contempt. I realize it has crude origins, but like someone else said, the word has kind of evolved. It's still crude though, I agree.

Scribbit said...

Sue, you've opened my eyes. I've never thought of the word quite like that and maybe I've spoken too hastily.

"just the right airheaded touch of blissful approval or sarcastic resignation"

That's power!

PJ said...

One of my 8th grade students wrote in my yearbook that my shoes are "Legit". It was a good thing. I asked.

Anonymous said...

lol alice wills gold-- but I don't think "transparent" has really made a comback (was it ever out? :P ) and saying that it is due to harry potter is saying that the word broom is more popular these days :P

Jena Webber said...

I have my list, but yours is great. I had never TIGHT before. I thought it meant tightwad or something.

Anonymous said...

Since when did "scrapbooking" become a verb? I HATE that word/term. It's so ridiculous. Some with "crafting". I'm with Sandy on "panties" too. It always makes me feel silly and about 3 years old to say it. They should come up with a different word for women's underwear. Panties are for little girls in ringlets. They should be called something more grown up like "Thelmas" or something with a little more age to them.

I also have to confess that I hate it when people say "like" all the time, but I can't stop myself from saying it. It comes out of my mouth and I think "that was 'like' really stupid sounding." I just can't help myself. It's like a habit.

Anonymous said...

Hate crimes definitely is a legitimate name for that group of crimes. Try being part of a group that is more likely to experience them, and you may change your mind.

Daisy said...

Well, I do like #9 and #10 because I approve of the philosophies of sustainable farming and organic gardening. But here's one you left out: the "hood". As in "Leave your bling at home, we're goin' through the hood."

Scribbit said...

Thanks to those who have left comments about "hate crimes" but I still have to respectfully disagree. To me it says that giving special status to victims of "hate" crimes lessens the severity and pain of other crimes. If a woman is beaten and raped and left for dead you're saying that it's not as bad as if she was specifically targeted for being a woman or white or the member of some specially denoted minority? Why should there be a separate penalty and criminal code for victims with special minority status? Are they less damaged by it? But I shouldn't go off on political tangents--I'm sure those who have been targets of "hate" crimes have suffered horribly. No denying that, crime in any form is a horrible thing.

Shauna said...

Who *isn't* part of a group that can be a victim of a hate crime?

Sister Mary Martha said...

I've always been depressed by a restaurant chain called TGIF. What does everyone think the "G" is for? And Friday is a day of fasting..or should be.

If you're me.

Anonymous said...

Funny that you don't care for the word Moist. Every time my son hears it he physically shudders.

I really only have one word that bothers me and it is Like - when it is used improperly. I find that most teens use this word constantly to pepper their sentences. My daughter has started to do the same and it drives me crazy!

Jolanthe said...

That first one made me laugh out loud.

Because this morning my 62 year old father was describing something to me and used "awesome" in the sentence.

And I almost laughed out loud at him then. :) But I refrained.


Scribbit said...

I'd never thought of that before Sister Mary Martha--at least the day of fasting part.

Scribbit said...

And I still feel sheepish that I cannot eradicate "like" from my vocabulary. I've tried but without success. Worst part is I've heard my kids start to say it and I think "It's all my fault!"

jubilee said...

I have to agree with you on your opinion of the use of "hate" crimes. By drawing attention to it as if it is a special category, it seems to lessen the horrific nature of other crimes.

I have to add my two pet peeves. I detest the word p*n*trat*. See, I cannot even type it. The first time I heard it was in 5th grade s*x ed class. Ugh!

The second is when people use the word "but" and "yet" together. How difficult is it to remember to say "and yet"?

Anonymous said...

Love your list. Maybe the next one could be "Slang" dislike.

I cannot stand, "ya think???" Replaces "duh".

Anonymous said...

PS How about, "HELlOOOO??"
Inflection is up and means "ya think?" and "are you stupid???"

Anonymous said...

Organically is one of my biggest pet peeves, but mainly because it's overused and not understood by most people. "Organic" or "organically grown" doesn't mean they don't use pesticides or fertilizers or chemicals to grow it, it just means they use naturally found ones. They aren't even better for people or the environment as natural aids can kill or harm just as much as the man-made ones. It irritates me so when people tout ideas that organic is better when they have no clue what that even means. It's become one of my biggest pet peeves to a point that I try to avoid buying organically grown produce, just as my own little protest to the growing trend! :)

Damselfly said...

"Because other crimes are full of love and respect." I never thought of that before, but you're right!

luckyzmom said...

Directionality. How do you feel about that? Drives me up the wall. Oh, yes and frickin, no better than saying the word that is really meant. You know, one of the words you weren't going to mention. Like we'd never guess what was really meant!

Our family is really big on rearranging words like saying "bidnez" instead of business, just for fun, among ourselves and occassionally beyond. But, we would never try to pass them off as "real words"

Elisa said...

I think this post was "awesome" and the discussion from the comments has quite "literally" entertained me!

I hate it when teenagers are talking to you, and then use the word "so, YEAH" as some sort of punctuation. When did "so,YEAH" become punctuation? When?? I didn't get that memo!

I am guilty of using Like, and Awesome and Sucks--because sometimes there is no better phrase than "Man!That Sucks!". . .I am trying to quit, but its like an old boyfriend that just wont leave.

I use the word bling-- to mock the teenagers that I teach at church... and "shizzle" and "yo diggity dawg".
I think those words are funny-- in an eye twitching sort of way.

Unknown said...

Um, yes. Well. Could anyone explain to me the 'strongly dislike' argument? Can't tolerate? These are just words! A string of letters that make particular sounds that serve to express emotion and attempt to illicit response. Are we the Nazi Party? Here's some things I 'strongly dislike'- ignorance, intolerance, racism, kainotophobia (fear of change), and close-mindedness. Believe it or not, a lot of the words you use in your every day life were once unacceptable to generations before you. Do you think that 'new-fangled' was once the Queen's English? There was a time when the word 'Swounds' was the worst curse in the english language (meaning 'God's Wounds'). You could go around saying that anywhere today, even church, and no one would post it on their blog. Then there's the 'sucks' reference, like stinks is any better. Nothing better than the imagery of a homeless drunk, full of fast food and Thunderbird, squatting down and leaving a steaming pile on the sidewalk, right? And organic is something you might want to look up. When it comes to food, organic means no pesticides or chemicals are used in the growing process. Organic vegetables are not only better for you, but taste immensely superior. Oh, one last thing- maybe if you are going to call people out on how asinine they are to use words that you don't like (For Shame!), maybe you should use spell check (Disrepect and posee, for example). Just some food for though...

Unknown said...

By the way, no disrespect intended. ;)

Anonymous said...

Guilty as charged. I use awesome and sucks and like. I can't help it. I know the word sucks is crass but sometimes it's the only word that can really convey the meaning of how bad something is. The word like is injected as a pausing word and it's a rare person who doesn't use it nowadays. It's bizarre.

Anonymous said...

Scribbit, I'm surprised at the ethnocentricity of your views. You seem to disapprove of any word or word change that has roots in liberal or urban areas.
Perhaps you should get out more.

Becky said...

I'm with you on some of these, though I disagree with others. Some of my top ones right now are "uber" and "tres" (pronounced by non-French speakers as "tray"). If you want to use words from other languages, learn the other language and speak it instead. But then, that argument leads to, "But almost all of English is a conglomeration of words from other languages." Yes, yes, I know. But "uber" and "tres" make a person sound SO, like, dumb. (Flips hair over shoulder and chews gum diligently.)

As far as "sustainability" goes, that one actually makes sense. It's a term meant to convey the act of sustaining all life with as little harm as possible done to the earth and the living and non-living things on it. So I disagree with your claim that it doesn't mean anything.

I do want to say that your point about "hate crime" is a very good one. Well said.

Terri said...

I've written my own blog post about this in the past. The following are on my list: belly (unless referring to the candy, Jelly Bellies), foodie and newbie (for much the same reason you don't like hoodie), fart (I don't even like typing it), and abbreviated words such as "tat" for tatoo.

I agree with most of your list, too, especially the word "sucks."

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

I couldn't handle this many comments.

Becky said...

Oh, I thought of some words that really annoy me:

Blouse (I just hate how grandma and preppy it sounds.)
Preppy (I know I just used it, but I've forced myself to add it to my vocabulary, because everyone where I'm from uses it.)
Orientate (There is no need to add the -ate at the end. Orient stands on its own.)
Sherbert (There is NO SECOND R in that word. It is sherbet: SHER-bet. And technically, as it is a French word, it should be pronounced sher-BEY, but that won't fly in America, will it?!?)

I also personally see no problem with the word "suck." But I am a bit younger than you and that word doesn't mean to me what it means to you. But I will say that growing up I was never allowed to use that word when my parents were around. They are of the same mind as you. I do recognize the word's origins, but in all honesty, as anthony said, a LOT of socially acceptable words today were not acceptable for past generations. And words we don't accept today will be all over journalism when my kids are in college.

There is ALWAYS a generation gap. There will always be an older group of people appalled at how the young "whipper-snappers" are turning the American (no, not English) language into a worthless collection of mush and trash. And then those young kids will grow up and think the same thing about their kids. It's a never-ending cycle.

Oh, and another word I hate? Expresso. It's eSpresso. Kind of like how people say expessially when they really mean especially. Since when did the "es" combination become pronounced as an x?

Wow, this is turning into a blog in and of itself. Sorry! Maybe I should just post this as a blog. (Which is another word that's really dumb if you think about it.)

Anyway, way to inspire such thoughtful discussion here! It's been fascinating. I work with words every day (I do PR for a university), and was an English major in college, so these type of discussions are of extreme interest to me.

Blog O' Beth said...

As an English teacher I wish "a lot" would go away. Everybody spells it as one word and it really isn't all that descriptive. The other one would be starting a sentence with "so". It's a pretty useless word.

Pat said...

Can we add "consensus of opinion"? And "phat"?

And then there is a whole list of things that are fine for teenagers and adults, but not for little kids, like "stupid", and "butt".

Great post!

Derick and Becky said...

I didn't even know what in the world a hoodie was until I came to college! I never remember calling them a hoodie. It is a hooded sweatshirt!

Nicole said...

Wow, I've every single comment and can't believe that the word I dislike didn't make the list.

I don't like when people use the word "retarded" or "gay" referring to a situation. such as....I hate to pay for parking so I may say "paying for parking is retarded."

I actually was a gross offender of the word until recently when I said it in front of somebody I respect and was suddenly extremely embarrassed that I had just used that word and have since removed it completely from my vocabulary.

I now use the word stupid, which is actually not much better, but haven't found a good replacement word yet. I'm open to suggestions.

Annie-Savor This Moment said...


And my husband hates "bummer"

Anonymous said...

Wat up G's! Good blog topic--I like it! I do have to agree with anonymous on some of the things anonymous said. The english language is growing. For example when people say sucks, they don't mean it in that sick way. In our parent's days (ages 45 and up) it did have a bad meaning. However, in the 2000's, sucks has evolved into meaning stupid. And no matter what people think of that word, that is what is what young people mean by it. So don't judge them for using it. However, I understand people being offended by it--especially when they grew up when sucks was a bad word. I try to say stinks as much as I can. Or lame is another one I will use.

Kate said...

I'm with you on most of these, although I don't hear too many outside of awesome, organic, sucks and bling (go figure). I guess I don't keep up with the news too much. We are just happy to speak to anyone who doesn't speak pidgeon (or pidgin!). Here my pet peeve word is da kine. It means EVERYTHING/ANYTHING! You know da kine.

Anonymous said...

One word I will never ever ever ever EVER let my little girls say is LOSER. That word makes me want to turn around and pull it out of their faces like an offensive piece of lettuce or something and throw it away. I usually end up crying because it reallllllly hurts me to hear someone call someone else a loser, no matter what context they're using it in. :(

Loralee Choate said...

I will try my darndest to refrain from all "Suck" and "Awesome" use at BlogHer.



Fo' Shizzle makes me shudder.

Meredith said...

Count me in your intense dislike of "sucks."

Also, the word "butt" ranks highly on my disfavored words list, but that's not one with which I can get much agreement.

Anonymous said...

What about "preggers" and "preggo"? :) I will never call myself (or anyone else!) "preggers"... it just sounds silly to me! :)

Sarah said...

Wow! Hot topic indeed!

I had to laugh at Corinne's suggestion of calling panties "thelmas". Cracks me up!

And I second Nicole's opinion on the use of "gay" and "retarded" as put-downs. UGH! That's just as awful as if someone were to use the term "rural" or "autistic" as a put down. Nobody would put up with it, and yet gay and retarded are used all the time in that sense.

Add to the list: issues. As in "She has issues with her boss." Or stoked. "Dude, I'm so stoked about the party." Double UGH!

I once heard an interview with Debbie Fields (of Mrs. Fields Cookies) and she had used the word(?) "orientate" when she was describing her business plan to someone at a dinner party. He humiliated her by pointing out in front of others that she had used the word incorrectly. She went on to make her millions, so I guess she showed HIM. It must have stuck with her, though, to have recalled the embarassment years later. I cringe at the memory of using the word "inevitable" to someone... pronouncing it IN-eh-VITE-a-bull. Oh well. I'm a "life long learner" <---- there's another one! ;)

You're not picking on anyone here, though. We all have our pet peeves.

Anonymous said...

I am so with you on the word "moist" YUCK!!!

Anonymous said...

Amen on moist!!! But I love the wold ghetto.

Anonymous said...

Great list!

My daughter things the word "sucks" and "shut up" are bad words. I'm glad. She won't use either of them! :)

Christie O. said...

hahahahah moist! i intensely dislike that word as well!! i laughed out loud on this one.

and hate crime. that's almost as bad as the phrase "robbery gone bad". as if there were such a thing as a "robbery gone good". just one of those things.

this list is AWESOME! (hee)

Kelli said...

I'm with Terri...from knee-high, my mother taught me to "intensely dislike" (rather than 'hate') the word 'fart.' To this day I am repulsed by it!

Mama Cher, Ok, fine, it's Sharon said...

Wow! Quite the reactions here! I too shudder at moist. Yuck.

Language is so interesting to study and clearly everyone has their own opinions. Thanks for sharing yours and sparking this lively discussion!

Susan Bearman said...

I was about to respond to a want ad for a managing editor until I read that two of the responsibilities would be "concepting" and "ideating".

It drives me crazy when people use "less" when they mean "fewer" — for example, in line at the grocery store, when the sign reads "15 items or less." Fewer is used for individual items, less for bulk or quantity (e.g., fewer cookies, less milk).

The funniest mistake I ever saw was on a sign at our local grocery store that read:

Feminine Hygiene/Incontinents

Thanks for the fun post and lively discussion.

Lei said...

LOL you are so funny. This post had me rolling. (not from nursing babies and I'd wear a skort first? You're too much!)

My brother and I recently discussed the phrase "I could care less". It's "I COULDN'T care less", people! Ugh... I guess mispronunciations also ruffle me. I have a long annoying list of those if you'd ever like to compare notes!

Great TT as usual... they are my favorite posts of yours!


Anonymous said...

"Orientate." No. The verb is "orient."

Also, I HATE the word "normalcy." The word is "normality."

John and Laura said...

Dude, what a great list.

Yes, sadly, I use the word "dude" occasionally. And I hate myself every time I do! Yuck! That's definitely a potential list word.

And I'll think about you whenever I say "awesome" from now on...

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

LOL...perhaps you are related to a friend I used to work with. She hated the word 'moist.' We could effectively destroy a meeting by uttering that word, watching her cringe while the rest of us rolled with laughter and thought of different ways to use it in a sentence :)

Stephanie said...

Okay, I thought of a word I can't stand: pissy. It's an ugly word and should be banned from the human vocabulary.

Mrs. O said...

Goodness, and there I went and used "Organic" in my blog name - I just thought it'd be easier to remember than

Positively (Always Changing, Adapting, & Growing) and Occasionally Posts About Natural Foodstuffs

On another note irregardless and retarded always get me. I'm a frequent abuser of like, awesome, totally - yes, I am a child of the 80s. At least I have managed to rid my vocabulary of the word grody.

Mrs. O said...

Did nobody include crap as a least favorite word?

Anonymous said...

For fear of offending all you out there....My husband, Kendall wants me to add his least favorite word these days....BLOGGING. :)

Kimmer said...

Did I miss a tongue in cheek tone? Because you know "fellate" and "imbibe" are real words.

a wynn wynn situation said...

Uh-oh... some of those words make regular appearances in my everyday language but I hear you on the word "Moist"- ewww, just writing the word makes me writhe. The only way I can tolerate the word is when my neighbor does a spot on movie quote from "The Nutty Professor"- now that's just plain funny :)

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on moist. I also can't stand "discharge." ew.

canadacole said...

Great post, even if I am guilty of using a few of those words. I won't say which ones but I am embarrassed to realize I've probably used them in the comments before. Sorry.

I have never in my life heard conversate. Never. I wonder if I could keep it that way?

Also, because you mentioned it, I have to ask if you have the literally blog bookmarked? Fun times.

merideth said...

oh, no. as the mother of recent teenagers (they're 20-somethings now), i use variations of "suck." never thought about where it comes from. i never say it around my 3yo, though, but only b/c i avoid any slang around children. striking it from my repertoire now.

when my daughter says "like," i gently ridicule her. (gently ridicule. love it.) for example, if she says, "i like bought tickets tday." i say, "what is similar to buying? did you borrow them? rent them?"

i'm with you on bling, posse, my bad (and how about "it's all good") and other inner city words, although i sometimes like to use them for effect (but i say/type them as if i were an headmistress trying them out - know what i mean?)

irregardless (if regardless means "in spite of" does this then mean "because of" or "due to"?) bothers me.

but mostly, i hope my occasional speech improprieties aren't judged as harshly as i (silently, to myself!) judge others'. :)

Amy said...

You would sooooo cringe at my language :) Maybe it is a good thing I am not going to BlogHer. There might be a list of thirteen things I hate about Amy Clark :)

I hate moist though- gross!

Oh gross on the list? :)

Bonnie said...

I guess I will just have to apologize in advance (and for all the times in the past) that I've used just about every word on this page. I think after high school I found a lot more words that were much more offensive to me than 'sucked' your referenced 'p' word, 'awesome', and so on. So I find myself using all of these in my normal conversation.
So, if I am quiet around you in the future it's because I'm intimidated by your in depth knowledge of words and their meanings. Haha!

Chrisbookarama said...

I use sucks and, unfortunately, awesome (Hey Sue!) I do agree with you on bling. I cringe at the sound of it.

You have to watch "How I Met Your Mother" when Barney says the word moist over and over in his one act play just to annoy his friend Lily.

I have to agree with Becky on the changes in the English language. My Mom says 'slacks' for pants and 'Kotex' for any feminine hygiene product. It makes me crazy!

But, like my Mom, I'm still going to use words I like even if they annoy everyone else.

Moist, moist, moist...


SuperAngel said...

I had to laugh at this post! Mainly because I say the word awesome so much and you were recently at my blog... did I happen to inspire that part? lol.

I can't think of words I hate, er, dislike right now.
I know there are words that do bug me, but I am pulling a blank. The biggest problem I have is when they change the spelling of words, i.e. dawg and etc.

This is was fun to read! :)

I think it would be nice to visit Charleston and Savannah sometime. I am a huge history geek, and those are so important to our American heritage!
I hope you get to visit them someday!

Thanks for coming by!
Prayers and Blessings,
Miss Amanda

Lagniappe said...

Well, my peeve has to be the grammar errors: "lay" when it should be "lie" and "laying" when it should be "lying."

Both make me shudder.

Magpie said...

So I guess I can't offer you a transparent moist hoodie?

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'll bite and be sorry later.
As one of the lone dissenters about hate crimes, (I am one of the earlier anonymouses) I NEVER said that a woman being beaten and raped and left for dead was not the same "level" of violence or crime. But, in the interests of keeping records, statistics, noting the nature of the crime, and also because hopefully, as a society, at some point, we recognize that burning a cross on a family's lawn is a BAD thing, we figure out a way to classify such actions as more than mischief and hurtful in a way that is bigger than vandalism. I think getting in a barrom brawl is one thing, but being beat up in a bar ONLY because you are Asian (happened last year in WA state) is something else again. It goes to motive, right? Not just anger but purposeful targeting...
We call rape rape, right? Not just physical abuse. Same principle. And yes, anybody could be targeted for hate crimes, but it is likely to not include folks who are part of the cultural majority. As part of the cultural majority, I believe some of us carry around unspoken unacknowledged privilige, like being able to say the label hate crimes is uneccesary.
Seriously not trying to provoke here, but by responding the way you did, you immediately said you respectfully disagree, and I am wondering how long you took to think about that and how many people who may have ACTUAL experience with hate crimes you talked to about it.
And by the way? I am part of the cultural majority, but my children are not, and I worry EVERY SINGLE DAY about their safety.
All that said, I do understand that this post was meant to be amusing and thoughtful and it certainly was.

Janet said...

I have a number of words on my list, including most of yours. But add "resonate" as in "that really resonates with me."
And "journaling." Not to be confused with blogging of course. :) Or "scrapbooking". Or pretty much any other noun that you just decide to throw an ing onto and make it a word. Gerunds are all well and good but not all nouns should be one.
I used to be a copy editor and I would remove impacted every time I saw it because we published Sunday school materials, not dental manuals. And "Share." Can little Suzy please share what she did on her vacation? No, not unless she brought a bunch of shells for everyone to play with. Religious people love to share.
I've forgotten the other one.
And I have a huge problem trying to eliminate "like" from my vocabulary as well. And like ice cream diary, I'm having trouble getting completely rid of awesome as well. And I tend to say, "That's so COOL" just like Kevin Costner in "Field of Dreams."

all over the map said...

Well! I'm not sure if I enjoyed the comments more or the post. Seems the "hate" crime pushed a few buttons and raised a few eyebrows.
I'm not sure I got your stance on the "hate" part but did understand that crime is crime no matter how it happens. As a society, and one with varied opinions, we definitely tend to use our opinions to weigh the severity of crimes. I think that hate along with sexual, violent, war, passion and here's a new one for you - opportunity (I heard that one yesterday on our local news, seriously). These are all labels to help determine the nature of the offense committed and even intent.
Don't ask me how I know this but Tupac is with a *C* and I'm sure that's just the kind of trivia you want to know in order to keep current with "gansta" rap. Not!
I don't like the word hate. It's so strong and I always cringe when I use it in what I call a watered down form. Sort of how "sucks" has become if you think about it. No, I don't like that word. I don't like substitute word like "frickin". I tell my kids they imply the same meaning and they stink!
Awesome doesn't bother me in the least as long as it's not preceded with "like totally" in a high pitched manner.
Like is a really bad habit that has somehow crept it's way into our speech in an over used way. It doesn't sound very intelligent to me. Maybe that's not a nice thing to say but when I hear it used every third word I cringe. I don't think a lot of young people realise it. In fact, I'm sure they don't because if they heard themselves played back they'd probably cringe too!
And because I could not simply resist: mushrooms are fungal growth and thrive in a mold environment. Funny how we have selective association.
Good post. Your lists are always fun and informative. They always seem to shed a little more insight about you.

all over the map said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
all over the map said...

That was a long comment but I also could to resist adding to the comment above mine.
"Share" can also be a transitive verb (to tell our thoughts, feeling and experiences with others) and the example given is perfectly proper. Just saying! :)

sweetlifeinthevalley said...

this is too funny I too have a list of words I hate! Awsomeis one that just irritates me every time I hear it(my mom is over using this word lately. Sucks is a dirty word in our house it makes me crazy but to add to your list pop as in interior design -that just makes the item "pop" oh and juxtapose such an irritating word!Can you tell I studied interior design lol And I would have to agree with Sandy about panties

J said...

I like the word 'literally', but only when it's used correctly. Which is seldom. Oddly, though I know I should, I have no problem with 'awesome', and will indeed be happy to tell you how awesome your hair looks, or how awesome it is that you got to attend BlogHer this year. I know that's wrong of me, but there it is.

Conversate? I've never heard that one before. I hope that's the only time.

Transparent is fine with me, as long as they're talking about cling wrap or ghosts.