Sunday, February 22, 2009

Some Words I Don't Like

Hey everyone,

For the most part, I really like words. I have a lot of fun with language, and I really had some fun learning German. People say not-so-nice things about German all the time, but there is a certain amount of whimsy combined with flawless logic about many German words. I find it fascinating. Take this one, for example. Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzungen. That's quite a word. It means speed limits. If you break it all down and translate it as a sum of its parts, it goes something like, the borders for the rate your velocity is changing. Why create a simple word, when you can string a bunch of thoughts together into one? That's German in a nutshell. One of my German teachers pulled out a word that was impossibly long, it was so funny. I think it meant a captain of a barge sailing a regular route on a specific kind of river, but don't quote me on that. Besides the long compound words, there are also words that have such a strange look and sound to them. I'm fond of Eichhörenschen, which is a squirrel. It's just fun to say. Staubsauger, or vaccum cleaner, makes me laugh too. And finally, I always thought it was interesting that the German word for poison is gift. If I think about that one too long it boggles my mind.

But for as much fun as I have with words, there are certain words that really make me cringe. I'm not talking about what the words mean, or negative associations with those words. I'm talking about the words themselves. I just don't like the way they look or sound. So here's a list of my least favorite words.

Womb. Honestly, what man made that up? You have quite possibly the most amazing part of a woman's body, and you call it a womb. Uterus isn't much better. Womb is one letter away from Bomb. And I don't have a problem with bomb, it rounds out nicely with a short O. Add the Woo sound in the beginning, and it's just silly. I say we start a petition to rename it something powerful and pretty.

Tongue. This word is just plain strange. That G sound at the end is very odd. If I think about a tongue, it is a strange and funny little muscle, so at least the word is fitting.

Ilk. I'm glad this one has fallen out of usage for the most part. Ilk always feels like it's missing an M. Come to think of it, I'm not that fond of the word milk either.

Squat. At least this word sound as awkward as the position it represents. Say it really slowly and try not to laugh.

Sheath. I don't know why this word bothers me so much, it just does. I really don't like it in love scenes, but I'm not entirely sure I haven't used it in a love scene. Funny how that works.

And finally, my least favorite word in the English language.

Moisture. Ugh, it makes me cringe every time I hear it. Seriously, I shudder. I have nothing against being damp, but that oi sound right before the st gets me every time.

I'll leave it to you to put all those together and come up with the very worst possible paragraph I could come across in a romance novel.

So how about you. What are some words that make you squirm? Any that you think are lovely?



Shirley Damsgaard said...

Hey, of my favorite words to use is "bogus"... heavy on the "bo"--light on the "gus!" When used with the proper inflection of the voice, it can really express just what you think of a situation!! AND you can use it in polite company!! lol

Casey said...

Too funny that you mention German. I don't speak German. I don't know anyone who does. But around here, we do listen to a lot of classical music. And I've decided that no one should ever sing in German! There's just something wrong about all those gutteral sounds combined with music.

Jess Granger said...

It's funny, but I don't find German that gutteral. I guess compared to the rolled r in the romances, the shushing sounds of German aren't as smooth. But I am incapable of rolling an r, so German and I get along just fine.


Whose name pronounced in Germany will sound like, Yes!

Casey said...

And it is weird how I feel about German, because I love Old English! Go figure.

Angie Fox said...

So you're saying the soon-to-be-released German language version of Demon Slayer will be about 500 pages long? Good to know.

I don't have any words I despise, but there are some that I love. Like - serendipity. It just flows.

Jess Granger said...

Yeah, that's a good one. I've always like ethereal.


Ann Aguirre said...

I can't think of any words that I just hate, but I like words that don't sound like what they are. Like concupiscence. That doesn't sound sexy at all.

Jess Granger said...

You're right, that doesn't sound sexy at all. That's a fun word.


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