Here It Is! Words Worthy of a Double Take
by Ruth Schapira
Words, sentences, more words. We read so much content (what did we say before we used the word content?) that sometimes we don’t think about the meaning or sound of the words we’re reading. Do certain words seem funny to you? Or maybe even gross? Sometimes, I actually need to take a double take (quite clever the way I fit that in, no?) when I think about some of them, so I decided to curate them into lists (you thought content was trendy, what about curate? double take this: curating content!).
Before we go on, I promise, none of my word lists contain the word “moist”.
Why “moist” you ask?
Well, “moist” was quite the headline grabber a few years ago when this was circulated widely on the web: “Moist” And 28 Other Gross Sounding English Words That Everyone Hates . This must have created quite a stir, because BuzzFeed wrote their own contrary version a short time later: 18 Words Far More Disgusting Than “Moist”.
So, without the dreaded and overly used “moist word”, here are my lists of words that seem curious and disgusting:
WORDS THAT MAKE NO SENSE TO ME
- Dogmatic (what comes to mind here, is an automatic dog — you know, the term for when a dog jumps up and down when seeing the dog-walking leash, or for when he salivates when seeing dinner poured from a bag, or for when he begins sniffing every new person’s private parts.)
- Shoetree (really, is this like an oak or an elm?)
- Shoehorn (what’s with these shoe words, anyway? I haven’t seen one of these in the Philharmonic recently, have you?)
- Textured Vegetable Protein (It’s a mouthful to say, and positively weird to think that this might, in fact, go into your mouth as a food item. I doubt you’d prefer the more common acronym TVP when disclosing to your guests that you’ve prepared food they are about to ingest with the stuff, as in “Here’s my delicious chili recipe, prepared with TVP”. Yes, I do use it!!)
- Thumb Drive (really? What exactly did your thumb have to do with the data that’s on your drive? And if it did, well, that’s another matter for another time….)
WORDS THAT SOUND WAY TOO DISGUSTING TO USE
- Corpuscle (most medical terms have this effect on me, so I’ll try hard to limit myself to just a few. Think about it, did you just envision an image of a corpse? With no muscle? Yuck. Come to think of it, muscle doesn’t sound so wonderful either.)
- Mausoleum (note that I’m not talking about what’s inside this thing, but the word alone conjures up for me a museum of mauses, not a pretty sight. No one would ever say “so, did you get to see that exhibit in the mausoleum?”)
- Pew (really, that’s not exactly the best way to get me to stay at synagogue/church. “Here, let’s just sit in this pew”.)
- Poultice (now, this is a thing that is supposed to be put on an injury to heal it, but I just think of chicken…and I’m not imagining a nice thing happening to that poor chicken either.)
- Posture (and what occurs when you don’t have it, i.e. Pustule. Of course, I’m kidding. Pustule is related to that other word often used to describe nasty eruptions on the skin and equally disgusting-sounding, Pimple.)
- Spelunking (for those of you who don’t know what this is, you can thank me now. This activity holds absolutely no appeal for me, as it is associated with places that are dark, dank and moist ….and you know I wouldn’t want to be involved with anything like that.