Most hated word: The envelope, please?


There is a word that I absolutely abhor. In fact, I have difficulty convincing myself to write it, let alone speak it. For the longest time, I couldn’t admit this to anyone. If I heard someone use it or saw it written down, I’d cringe with horror. I am not making this up.

Ask my husband and daughters. Until now, I’ve never admitted this to anyone but them. In fact, I don’t remember how or when I admitted it, but it was long after my mother-in-law (who I loved dearly) first said it in my presence. This would have been more than 30 years ago, so obviously I’ve been hiding my feelings for a long time.

I’ve long suspected that there is a Freudian explanation for this. My brother-in-law, the psychiatrist, probably could explain it to me. On the other hand, maybe I’d rather not know.

So here’s the thing. My family knows this word irritates me, so they use it selectively. Sometimes they whisper it furtively in my presence, sneaking glances at me to see how I’m reacting. Or they say it really loud just for fun.

Well. I have been vindicated. It seems I am not alone in my disgust for this word. In the New Yorker‘s “Culture Desk” blog, author Ben Greenman asked readers for the word they’d like to see zapped from the English language. My word came up most frequently.

If that’s not enough proof that I am in good company, I am now one of 3,229 members of a Facebook page dedicated to those who shudder at the mention of this word.

THE WORD? Ugh. Okay…deep breath…here we go…moist. Yep, that’s it. Can’t stand it. Can’t stand the sound of it, the sight of it, the feeling that I get when I hear it. This is one of the first times I’ve actually written it down and quite honestly, I wasn’t sure I could spell it correctly.

Sadly, my word was not the word chosen to be eliminated. That word was “slacks”. What’s up with that? How could they have chosen “slacks” over than “moist”? Makes absolutely no sense to me.

So now I’m really curious…what’s your word? What word would you like to zap from existence?

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5 responses to “Most hated word: The envelope, please?

  1. Pannabecker Steiner Mary

    Fred shares that with you.

  2. Another choice would be words that have extra syllables that add nothing, such as “incentivize.”

  3. Pannabecker Steiner Mary

    Eyeroll.

  4. I knew you didn’t like the word moist. Ha, I said it, MOIST. I remember L and A teasing you. I’m not sure what my word is but it bothers me more to hear a word pronounced differently than I like to hear it. You know, the way I say it. What about the word moistened? I grew up saying slacks. I don’t use it much but I like the word.

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