October 06, 2007

The long moist tail

Following up on our earlier coverage of "word aversion", especially involving "moist", Ben Zimmer points out to me that there's a facebook group called "I HATE the word MOIST!", which currently has 71 members. "If the very word 'moist' make you cringe every time you hear it, this group is for you."

One of the members pointed out a problem with the group's name:

possibly the worst word in the english dictionary....i feel sick. Could we possibly censor the "m word" from this page? everytime i look at it I actually want to vomit.

The founder's response:

Unfortunately, I can't change the title because that's impossible and people have to know which word we hate. Because of that, I'm just going to leave the other "m words" there too. The damage is done.

Other writers on the wall use "m***t" or "the m word", or just refer to the word indirectly:


My friends and family taunt me with this word constantly. I hate the way it sounds so nasal at the beginning of the word and that it sounds exactly like the meaning. Like its onomatopoeic or something. Urgh.

I'm glad I've finally found a place I can feel I belong!

I hate it went the word m***t is used in cookery programmes to describe the food. Its not appropriate!!!

M***t haters of the world unite! I despise the sick, repugnant word! Itís almost as bad as vaginal! Uurrrrhh - Gotta go chuck now!

AHHH i can't believe there's a group for this! amazing!! I have wanted to barf on anyone who has said m***t for my whole lifeee gah EWWwweewww

But there is a long tail of other possible Facebook word-aversion groups:

You know what else I hate, guys? TENDER ugggh! As in tender loving care. ewewewwwwwwwwwww!
I got to culinary school, so I have to encounter these words in product evaluations a lot. NOT FUN.

Posted by Mark Liberman at October 6, 2007 10:40 AM