Words I hate

Words are wonderful things.  Without them, you could not read this page.  Without them, we would not be able to sing along to “Bohemian Rhapsody”…we would just be making noise along with the beat of the song, sort of like “da da da da da da da da da da da da da”. Get it?

 There are a lot of words I love.  In fact, the word love is a word I love, because it immediately invokes a good feeling. Putting words together brings even more happy thoughts…like hot pizza, cold beer, getting paid, classic guitar, fast car, and nice ass (sorry, just trying to be honest). 

 Unfortunately, for every ying, there has to be a yang.  I hadn’t really thought about words that I don’t like until a few years ago.  Up ‘til then, I know there were words that I didn’t like, but just kind of accepted it as a fact of life.  Then one day a co-worker of mine said that he and his wife were driving somewhere over the weekend and passed a Hardees burger joint.  On the little marquee underneath the Hardees sign were the words “Try our new angus thickburger”.  John told me that his wife looked at the sign as they drove by and said “Gross!  Look at that sign!”  John asked what was wrong with it, and she replied, “I just hate the word ‘angus’.”

 Immediately, I started thinking about words that I hate. The first word that came to mind was “caulk”.  You know, the putty-like stuff that you put around sinks and bathtubs, and sometimes around windows so cold air doesn’t blow through them?  I don’t like hearing that word, and I REALLY hate saying it.  “Caulk.”  It sounds like something is stuck in my throat…like a small dog choking on a chicken bone.  “Caulk.”  I don’t even like writing it.

I shared my recent discovery with my friend and co-worker at the time, Amy.  Right away, Amy picked up on what I was talking about.  She said that she also had words that she hated.  At the top of the list for her was “dollop,” as in “Give me a dollop of Cool Whip on that pumpkin pie.”  I had to admit that I had nothing against the word, but Amy was adamant that it never be spoken in her presence.  So we made a pact…she would never say “caulk” around me, and I would never say “dollop” around her.  We’ve used it as leverage once or twice, but the pact remains to this day.  In fact, she’s a regular reader of my blog, so I warned her what tonight’s was about, and mentioned that it may contain content that she may find objectionable.  

Since then, a couple of other words have made the list, including one that I’ve never liked but just realized it this morning.  “Rural.”  You know, like out in the country.  It just sounds like a bunch of R’s with an “L” at the end.  Maybe I don’t like it because it just doesn’t sound right when I say it.  “Rural.”  Try it a few times.  Then imagine how it would sound if Elmer Fudd said it.  But only imagine it if Mel Blanc is Elmer Fudd, not his son, Noel. 

 The only other word that presently comes to mind for me is “Caribbean,” and it’s probably because no one knows the proper way to say it.  If you listen to the announcers on TV, they usually say “car-i-BE-an” cruise.  If you go by the popular cruise line, it’s referred to as “royal car-IB-bean.”  And if you listen to Billy Ocean, there’s an emphasis on every syllable, like “CAR-RIB-BEAN QUEEN.”  So how the hell are you supposed to say it?  I’m too lazy to look it up, so I’ll just consider it another word for the “Words I Hate” list. 

 If you have a word you hate, put it in the comments section and I’ll try to refrain from ever using it in a blog.  And don’t be a smartass and say something like “I really hate the words ‘the’ and ‘and’” just to mess me up.  Make it a legitimate word.  For instance, I hereby promise Amy that I will never again use the “D” word in any of my writings, even if I’m mad at her for something. If you know Amy, I wouldn’t suggest using that word around her.  She wasn’t just having fun with me, she really hates that word. She came pretty close to smacking me one time.  Strange how words can affect you that way.

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About groovyrick

I live in a small town in Illinois with my wife and three kids. I am a part-time musician, part-time writer, and full-time dreamer.
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9 Responses to Words I hate

  1. I have a lot of words, phrases, and abuses of the language that drive me wacko! They include “irregardless” (not a word), an entire class of words that I call, “verbing the noun”, which actually uses the technique in its phrasing (I’m proud of this phrase and own it so pay up if you use it) – an example would be: “we will office downtown”, and the most recent annoyance found frequently in the Midwest, found in this example – “this needs done”….AAAAAGGGGHHHH. It should be “this needs to be done” or “this needs doing”. I looked it up on online and while almost every scholarly opinion supports what I say, at least one makes the lame argument that our language is how our language is used. Okay…then why does Windows still give me the red squiggly line when I say “ain’t”? If any word has outlived it’s scholastically criminal status, it’s “ain’t”.

    I think one word that makes people cringe is “smegma”. Of course, it isn’t heard in many conversations, at least not those in which I’d want to participate, but it’s a pretty unpleasant word. As a songwriter I’d have to say, “smegma”, is one word I never plan to rhyme to.

    Good then.

  2. Themer says:

    Great blog, Rick, and I’m not just saying that because you mentioned me. I actually laughed aloud at the Elmer Fudd-rural line. 🙂 Truth be told, I have come close to smacking you on more than one occasion, and I have the picture of buffalo wings to prove it. I think it says more about you than me. I love you dearly, but you could incite violence in Ghandi. Ha!

    ~Amy

    P.S. As you know, I will be keeping a copy of this blog in my files as proof of your pledge in case you “don’t recall” making it later and violate said pledge.

  3. After reading this post, I sat for about 45 minutes (I’m at work so I got paid for it!) and I can’t think of a single word I hate. I did however think about that song, “Wordy Rappinghood” by the Tom Tom Club and now that’s stuck in my head.

  4. Beth says:

    I believe the most hated work in the English language is “moist.” I have no idea why this is and it doesn’t affect me, but several, SEVERAL of my friends have mentioned this. Usually it comes up after a period of silence, apropos of nothing. Anything that can illicit that kind of non sequitur, must be pretty unlovable. Just saying.
    Of course, I’m sure someone hates non sequitur and apropos.

  5. Ann Sallen says:

    I don’t know if I have hated words, but incorrect pronunciation or usage of a word. Iowa does NOT have a long A sound; Illinois does NOT have an S sound; I won’t mention Louisville because I can’t pronounce it myself. As for usage I hate incorrect usage of the word “space,” as in “We’re studying blah-blah-blah In This Space….” The speaker uses space to mean something other than its defined terms.

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