Oh, Miss Emily! How grateful I am that you sleep in kind Death's arms, for today, the Dept. of Nance is about to wish for the demise of some common, innocent little words which, through no real fault of their own, are irksome to not only me, but also to Jared, who is teaming up with me today, just like we used to do over at our partner blog, Stuff On Our List.
Today's post was inspired by two things: one, this article which stated that the Worst Word Ever is "panties"; and two, my reaction to a song Jared wanted me to listen to, sung by his friend Brandon "Blizz Moneybagz" Pride, a rapper. I sent Jared the article because he, too, detests the word "panties," but he felt my objection to Blizz's liberal use of the word "bitch" in his song was evidence of my "unhealthy relationship" to said word. We had a brief, civil discourse regarding the matter, closed it, and ultimately decided to do a post about Our Most Irksome Common Words.
These words are not grammatical concerns (irregardless); nor are they words that have obvious sexual or negative connotations rendering them horrid (slut, cancer); nor are they words that have become overused by The American Youth (awesome! amazing! like...). These are just words that, for whatever reason, we have an aversion to.
Sorry, Emily. Some words have no business existing. And worse, I hate the way that they feel when I say them. Or they don’t make any sense. The following are words that I have made a conscious effort to not only remove from my own operational vernacular, but also to make an exhausting effort to avoid even having to hear. Since “panties” was already taken, and I happen to echo the sentiment that it is the worst word in the world, I will give you my second through sixth most hated words.
2. Eternity – Eternity? It isn’t any fun to say, it is cliché, and it also isn’t any fun to type. Just say forever. And end it. We all know that’s what you meant anyhow. You only said eternity because you heard it during a Harry Potter marathon, and now you think that because it was in a movie and some plays or some shit, that it’s the best way to go. It isn’t. I have stopped saying “eternity”. And it is a decision I will stick with forever. See?
3. Sketchy – My friends say this for anything that is suspect in nature. People, food, bridges, bars, anything. And I don’t think it makes sense. Also, we have a word for that. Ready? I know it's difficult but here we go…SUSPECT! Hipsters made the word “sketchy” into a part of everyone’s everyday life. And for that, they are a suspect set of the population. My one buddy, who shall remain nameless despite my desire to expose him, describes his beard as “sketchy”. No. That isn’t what’s happening. You aren’t intentionally “growing a sketchy beard”. You just can’t grow adult facial hair and are too lazy to grab a razor.
4. Fattoush – This is an actual thing. Fattoush is, from what I understand, some sort of Lebanese crouton/salad thing. There isn’t anything else to call it. It is simply “fattoush”. But that doesn’t mean I have to be OK with it everytime someone in the office orders a fattoush salad from the Greek spot we like. It sounds like a noise that a child makes while he is pretend fighting. Or telling a story about doing a cannonball at a pool party. “I just jumped right in! FATTOUSH! I soaked everyone sitting poolside.” Someone told me recently, “Don’t worry about what you cannot control.” And I think that’s bullshit. That’s the only stuff worth worrying about. I can’t control that the Greek place calls it fattoush. Which is exactly why it stresses me out.
5. Succulent – This word makes my skin crawl. “How is your steak?” It’s juicy. It is not succulent. Ask someone to define succulent for you. Go on. I bet they say “You know, like really tasty and juicy and stuff.” Then just say that, homey. Say you had a really well cooked chicken breast that was juicy. Anyone ever looks at me and says, “Good job on dinner. It was succulent,” and there’s an 80% chance I never talk to him again if he was serious. Only way to make this word worse? Put it next to “morsel.” “Succulent morsel.” Has to be the worst phrase ever.
6. Supper- This one makes no sense. When you eat DINNER, you are supping. That would make you the one that sups. And thus you are the supper. Not the food. What sort of sustenance does the meal get by being masticated around hastily and swallowed? "Absolutely zero" is the answer. Does that make the meal the “suppee”? I don’t know. Far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t matter. Because all that’s happening is someone is having dinner.
Take it, Nance:
1. Squat--This word is ugly. It's serviceable, but it sounds terrible and looks worse. It reminds me of when my mother used to make me pee outside at night rather than walk all the way to the outhouse at Grandma's cabin. It is graceless, and my underwear always got wet.
2. Nude--I prefer "naked." Nude sounds cold, aloof, and unseemly. Nude sounds like business. Naked sounds warmer and less clinical. Nude sounds like a police report is involved. Naked sounds like cuddling might be.
3. Underpants--These are what elderly men wear or cruel mothers with terrible Bronxy accents yell after their children who finally get invited to a slumber party (now their last): "Mona! Did you remember to pack a clean pair of underpants?!" Underpants sound dingy, and like what get left on a floor to be found when new tenants get the keys to a rundown apartment.
4. Community--This poor, overworked word just reeks of poverty, causes, charity organizations, strident women with petitions, and teeshirts with slogans. It sounds like big long tables stocked with literature and clicky pens. I hate it.
5. Pocketbook--What a terrible, dated, dumb word! Worse is when someone pronounces it POCKABOOK. How this is still used to identify a purse is beyond me. Purses are not FOR your Pocket, they are NOT BOOKS, and rarely does one use one's purse expressly FOR A BOOK. This word really does set my teeth on edge.
Jared and I will celebrate words in our next post by selecting some of our Favourite Words! In the meantime, do share your Cringeworthy Words in comments, or commiserate with us about some of ours.