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?