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And the most hated word in the English language is…

Okay, the methodology kind of sucks here. Looks like they derived it from monitoring tweets and internet chatter, but here goes: the most hated word in the English language is “moist.”

The article is at pains to explain that we aren’t talking “word rage” here — words that are wrong or jargon or trendy or just get on your tits. Like like. Or twerking. Or a’ight.

We’re talking words that are somehow indefinably creepy and wrong. There was speculation that it’s the vaguely sexual nature of “moist” that make it objectionable, but synonyms like wet, damp, soaked, drenched and soggy don’t make the cut. Whereas “ointment” and “goiter” often do — so perhaps it’s the “oi” sound.

What? Yes, this is my post for tonight. Cut me some slack — I was expecting a Dead Pool. I could’ve gone with “Crispi sets fire to house with bacon” or “Forest Hill man dies after vibrator stuck up his bottom“, so count your blessings. And have a good weekend!


Comment from Can’t Hark My Cry
Time: August 29, 2014, 11:25 pm

Ben Zimmer, on Language Log, points out that “joist” and “hoist” don’t have the same effect, and offers a different suggested explanation:


And, a few years later, Mark Liberman–another of the guys at Language Log Plaza–did this interesting corpus analysis:


[spam filter here I come; but I’ve got cigarettes and candy bars stashed in my socks]

Comment from Oceania
Time: August 29, 2014, 11:30 pm

Americans and English – eh?

Comment from gromulin
Time: August 29, 2014, 11:52 pm

You could have gone with this: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11065204/George-Galloway-attacked-in-the-street-as-he-poses-for-pictures.html

Sounds like more people are listening to what’s being said lately.

Comment from Bob
Time: August 30, 2014, 1:26 am

The fifth paragraph of the Divine Pymander by Hermes Trimegistrus mentions a hideous darkness with a moist nature:
But after a little while, there was a darkness made in part, coming down obliquely, fearful and hideous, which seemed unto me to be changed into a certain moist nature, unspeakably troubled, which yielded a smoke as from Fire; and from whence proceeded a voice unutterable, and very mournful, but inarticulate, inasmuch as it seemed to have come from the Light.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: August 30, 2014, 2:50 am

Moist goiter ointment!

Moist goiter ointment!

Comment from mojo
Time: August 30, 2014, 3:05 am


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 30, 2014, 9:51 am

Synchronicity strikes again! I had mentioned Hermes Trismegistus to Her Stoatliness only days ago.

Which is, in its way, rather disturbing…

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 30, 2014, 10:33 am

Okay, Bob — it’s official. I’m creeped out.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: August 30, 2014, 12:06 pm

I saw Moist open up for Hole at a festival in Calgary in the summer of ’97….yes, I’m serious…might have been ’98…my memory of that era is a bit hazy…

Comment from Bob
Time: August 30, 2014, 6:57 pm

Hermes is a rough slog for most people.
If you’re just looking for a method, Neville is more accessible.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: August 31, 2014, 3:50 pm

Ralph Roister Doister foisted the moist oyster onto Joyce the voiceful boisterous joist hoister.

Comment from Davem123
Time: August 31, 2014, 7:16 pm

The most hated word might become “asian” as more revelations come to light about the impact of multiculturalism on the young and innocent.

I wonder what their next harmless-sounding euphemism for child rapist will be?

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: August 31, 2014, 9:34 pm

I wonder what their next harmless-sounding euphemism for child rapist will be?


Comment from Uncle Al
Time: August 31, 2014, 10:11 pm

I wonder what their next harmless-sounding euphemism for child rapist will be?

Father (and Padre, Monsignor, (Arch)Bishop, Cardinal)
Step-father, Foster-parent
Coach, vice-principal

Comment from AltBBrown
Time: September 1, 2014, 4:57 pm

I’m trying to wrap ma noggin around a marital conversation where “Hermes Trismegistus” would come up.
“Speaking of psychopomps, honey…”
From what I’ve been seeing in the short term and long range forecasts for the UK, the most hated word after “moist” will become “wintry”.

Comment from drew458
Time: September 1, 2014, 8:06 pm

contra-flow. Whatever on earth that is, the UK has it in abundance. Over here, we’re stuck with the boring polar-vortex, which doesn’t even come with polar bears.

Comment from MajorieWArciga
Time: June 2, 2015, 1:36 am

Thanks for finally talking about >S. Weasel <Loved it!

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