Moist and tender and other words that make me cringe.

I think every writer has them, those words that make us want to lob a dictionary at the speaker of said words.

Let me get mine out of the way immediately so I don’t have to think about them again.

Moist. Oh, how I despise this word. I don’t know why. It’s a perfectly good word. It conveys information just as well as any other word. And yet something about the way the “o” squishes up against the “i” makes me want to grimace. Let’s say it together. “Moist.” Isn’t it awful? Sadly, in romance, this word comes in very handy. However, in life, I try never to use it. Blech.

Tender. Again, another word that works well in many situations. Nothing wrong with it and yet it makes the hairs on my arms stand on end. I don’t mind “tenderness” and use it often, but “tender” sets me on edge. I know, totally my hang up, but there it is. Blech.

Vomit. I suppose this one makes sense. After all, it certainly paints a picture. I’m sure most of us, upon hearing this word, actually start to suffer stomach contractions. For some strange reason, I don’t mind “throw up” or even “puke,” but “vomit” makes me want to, well, vomit.

Why do you think we have these word aversions? I wonder if it has something to do with deep-seated associations. For example, my mom used to use “tender” a lot, so much I grew tired of hearing it. Whenever she’d cook a roast, she’s ask, “Is it tender?” Now, whenever I hear the word, I think of slabs of meat.

They certainly aren’t the only words that drive me crazy but they’re probably the worst offenders. The list of runners up includes “puce,” “cornucopia,” “transparent,” and “judgment” (I would really like to see an “e” in there.”)

Do you have words that make you cringe?



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