Thursday, October 8th, 2009
217

Tiny Pool of English Words Actually Used Results in Annoyance

WHATEVER INDEEDThere is a a poll, for some reason, that says Americans are most irritated-at least, among a small array of choices-by overuse of the word "whatever." Here are ten words way more annoying than "whatever": Diaper. Endocrine. Lasik. Muffintop. Napkin. Ruched. Bulletin. Evanescent. Deciduous. Salami.

217 Comments / Post A Comment

johnpseudonym (#1,452)

Whatever.

ladycrumpet (#1,768)

Salami? I'm a great fan of it, not that I go around using the word all the time.

Eww, just say it out loud! It sounds so slithery and greasy. I HATE saying salami!

atipofthehat (#797)

I just like hiding it!

ladycrumpet (#1,768)

Does your distaste for the word prevent you from eating it? That would be a shame.

Peruse. Just say goddam "look" or "read". Thank you.

P.G.O.A.T. (#1,470)

Whatnot. What have you. Dichotomy (that last one might be because I'm in grad school and these people loooove to say "dichotomy." It makes my skin crawl)

garge (#736)

In that regard, I add Juxtaposition / Juxtapose … vomm

P.G.O.A.T. (#1,470)

Amen to that

Emily (#20)

"dialectic"

grandpa27 (#804)

On PARADIGM I retch.

How about Irregardless?
Nails on a chalk board.

P.G.O.A.T. (#1,470)

I involuntarily convulse when I hear "irregardless."

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

Sorry, folks. I go out of my way to say irregardless. To hell with the grammaristas!

I know some people who deliberately say disirregardless to drive everybody nuts.

Oops, you got a strongly agree from me on your whatnot issues below. Few words make people sound less intelligent so quickly.
I'm also in grad school and the "dichotomy" overuse is ridiculous.

afarerkind (#379)

"What have you" is the WORST. What does it even mean?

But I had more binaries than dichotomies in grad school. They were almost always false.

slinkimalinki (#182)

how about FALSE DICHOTOMIES?

Are the garments in J.C. Penny ruched? I didn't know!

grandpa27 (#804)

That's Penney

Penney wise, pound foolish.

mathnet (#27)

"Impact" as a verb, in any non-dental context.

Yes! When reviewing my stuff, my boss will edit 'affect' to 'impact.' (I skip that edit.)

mathnet (#27)

HEAR THAT, AMERICA?

josh_speed (#97)

"Architect" as a verb. Ewww…

afarerkind (#379)

Yes, and the condition of being impacted can also require an enema. So that makes it funny when people misuse it.

sunnyciegos (#551)

Actually.

Emily (#20)

YES! I was going to say this. I annoy myself by saying this all the time. Actually.

LondonLee (#922)

As an Englishmen I'd be mute if I didn't have "actually"

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

I'm gonna go with "weary," i.e. the conflation of "wary" and "leery." Pick one!

I hope "conflation" isn't anyone's most annoying word. If so, I apologize.

"…and then we'll go from there."

I like deciduous.

mathnet (#27)

"Again," as the first word in a non-repetitious response.

P.G.O.A.T. (#1,470)

Also horrendous corporate-HR phrases: "we'll circle back to that," "touch base," "put some color on that issue…" Shivers.

"Close the loop", "live in to it" and "dig down"

alison (#14)

"add value", "key takeaway", "best practice"

"cost neutral", "performance management", "lean" and "continuous improvement"

The stupidest I've heard: "Let me noodle that for a couple of hours, and then I'll circle back with you."

"going forward"

Tulletilsynet (#333)

"Best practice" is a technical term. It actually means something specific and enumerable. Of course, the grammar that results (in "that's a best practice," for instance) is pretty regrettable. But I don't see what we can do about it at this point!

HonoriaGlossop (#1,247)

Our salesgoons say they'll "circle back and touch base" with me at least 10 times a day. I finger my letter opener every single time.

"Throw under the bus" also needs to go away. NOW.

sunnyciegos (#551)

And its cousin, "Not here to make friends."

"The view from 30,000 feet"

LondonLee (#922)

One of the marketing people in my office actually said "I'm just blue-skying" after she came up with some lame idea.

LondonLee (#922)

Sorry, "lame" is anther word I hate. I've been living in America too long.

HonoriaGlossop (#1,247)

Another popular one at my workplace: "Pretty doesn't sell."

"Deliverables." Gag me.

wiilliiaamm (#225)

STAKEHOLDERS.

Tulletilsynet (#333)

Well, the CFO types have to have a word like "color" on their earnings calls because sometimes they can't disclose information that would qualify as material. I think it involves an okay submerged metaphor. Color (the optional but enlightening fill-in) as opposed to line (the essential, the material).

Late to the game but "training" used as an event. "There will be a training to implement the new protocol Tuesday afternoon. If you cannot be at the training, we will email you a list of the key learnings."

Fun. Mad. Men. Topcoat. Summmer. Of. Death. Furlough. Drywall. Amniocentesis.

Gah, I HATE furlough!

Tuna Surprise (#573)

What about "-ista" as a suffix. Fashionista, Recessionista.

Tuna Surprise (#573)

Foodie? I loathe that word.

Please include iconic in the list. Sick of it.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

How about socialism? Anyone sick of that yet?

P.G.O.A.T. (#1,470)

Fascism, too.

Whatnot.

LondonLee (#922)

I can't, like, believe that "like" isn't on that list.

Girl next to me on the bus the other night used it every other fucking word talking on the phone, I wanted to rip her tongue out.

I am also on a mission to replace "cool" with "groovy"

My mission is is to bring back "keen," the swell meaning.

NominaStultorum (#1,638)

Deliverables. Verbiage. Yum-O.

josh_speed (#97)

Humectant.

Emily (#20)

Blog as a verb. Moist. I am worried about "whatever."

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

I've come across the "moist" aversion before. Completely understandable, but are the other options any better? Damp? Clammy? Even wet creeps me out slightly.

amuselouche (#448)

"Moist" is my least favorite word. Especially when followed by my second least favorite word "panties."

carpetblogger (#306)

Add "cherry" between Moist and Panties and it's a lot better.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Ugh. I know a guy who calls hot women "moisties."

megnut (#1,329)

Oh wow. That's just beyond disgusting.

adriana (#1,654)

YUCK.

katiebakes (#32)

You know what makes me nauseous? When men say "I'm just trying to get my dick wet." Ew, I can't believe I even just typed that.

Blog as a verb? Really?

So instead of "blogging" you prefer … "blog-making"?

Emily (#20)

That sounds hideous too. But mostly I mean "I blogged that." "Are you going to blog this?"

katiebakes (#32)

Well if you're Arianna, you could always "write a blog".

Tulletilsynet (#333)

Apparently what's being objected to is not the word but the syntax — transitive "to blog."

Yes, apparently Emily means blog as a transitive verb. I.e., used with an object. To blog something. I can understand that …

TableNine (#1,104)

Moist is highly objectionable. So much so that I have to do an end run to avoid it when discussing cupcakes (this happens a lot).

"They're not dry at all."

sunnyciegos (#551)

This may be unpopular here, but I just can't stand the word "blog" in any context, especially once it became a branding tool. Oh you find our website with occasional updates to be rather dull? LET'S CALL IT A BLOG THEN.

Emily (#20)

It is also just a gross word to say. The worst is when you have to call yourself a "blogger." Like, the words "child molester" are about 100 times more mellifluous.

Moist may be ugly, but it makes the best password for all sorts of things, like burglar alarms and the like.

Is WolfBlitzer a word?

RRamjet (#1,851)

Sicha once made memorable use of "Wolf's Blitzer."

SemperBufo (#1,849)

Since we're leaning on the business-speak, how about "ask" used as a noun meaning "request" or even "question"? That really pulls out my fingernails.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

Can you use that in a sentence? My brain is descending into a recursive death-spiral just trying to wrap itself around this one.

P.G.O.A.T. (#1,470)

"That's a tough ask," meaning, "That'll be a big favor."

Abe Sauer (#148)

"I'm just sayin…"

"Let's say this . . ."

Wow. Just wow.

brent_cox (#40)

Though gimme all the "Not for nothin" I can eat.

Baboleen (#1,430)

Along with "just sayin…"

Tulletilsynet (#333)

Yeah! That's a ten-most-wanted-worthy expression.

satyricrash (#784)

Thank you.

megnut (#1,329)

Unctuous. Every food writer uses this in ever damn review these days!

Dan Kois (#646)

Limn, natch.

Natch.

Dan Kois (#646)

Oh also why must every sports commentator begin every sentence with "You talk about…"?

"You talk about CC Sabathia — he'll give you seven strong innings every time."

"You talk about strong interior linemen, and Chris Samuels is one of them."

katiebakes (#32)

I'll tell you something, I'll tell you something. Brett Favre looks like a kid out there. He is a football player.

LondonLee (#922)

Which demands the reply "Good job too, because if he was a tennis player he's really be getting hurt out there"

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

Must…resist…"go out on a limn" pun…

fitta (#526)

foodie, frenemy, cougar, glitterati, blogosphere, locavore, rendition, surge, leverage (can't we just call it debt?)…and that's just based on my 5 minutes reading the news this mroning.

Guess I'm easily annoyed.

Cougar needs to go away immediately. It is already to the point that it has ruined the actual meaning of the word for which it is named, just like blackberry.

I am just waiting for the headline "Cougar kills twenty-somethings because they couldn't stop giggling about the double entendre of a 'cougar attack.'"

Tulletilsynet (#333)

Yeah, leverage, thanks!

The verb "to loan" is a hateful thing. If it is accepted, nobody will have to use the verb "to lend" or its excellent past tense.

(Um, do you know you have a dirty, filthy name?)

(Like, just sayin'…)

HonoriaGlossop (#1,247)

I shouldn't like this word, but god help me, I love it: crepuscular

LittleLolly (#458)

The young woman sitting in her kitchen, looks outside and sighs at the evanescent moment that comes with the changing of the leaves in her beloved deciduous forest. She slices another piece of salami but being mindful of her developing muffintop she decides not to eat it. "Damn my slow thyroid" she says aloud, "why must I be cursed with such a poor endocrine system?!" Then, as if abruptly as a news bulletin interrupting her favorite sitcom, her infant daughter begins to wail. The woman, thanks to her recent Lasik surgery, can see her child's cloth diaper is ruched – indicating wetness. She gets up and goes to change her.

mathnet (#27)

Did you do this with spelling tests as a child?

LittleLolly (#458)

Nope. Just a lot of Madlibs.

"Here's a guy that defines (bland sports cliche) ", "He just love's to play", "A victory here would mean so much to the people of (economically depressed metro-area)"

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

"Gritty", "pesky", "plays the game the right way"

David Eckstein

katiebakes (#32)

He's out with an ankle.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Game commentators are dumb as rocks. But, here they are, trying to fill HOURS of dead time with talk and they have to be careful not to say anything that could possibly insult even a single human being so…. you get this crap.

There have been some absolutely great announcers out there: Marty Brennaman, the late great Jack Buck, Frank Deford, classic Keith Jackson, etc.

Just because mediocrity is pervasive doesn't mean it should be the norm.

The great thing about listening to Jack Buck do baseball on the radio was the several seconds of 'silence' (i.e., no talking) that he would often allow. It wasn't silence, of course, you heard the murmuring crowd, the beer vendors, the organ — the same sounds you hear sitting in the stands. Sigh.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Yes. the modern announcer is a former star. Talking/storytelling isn't his talent. The old announcers were writers (and drunks) first so made better color men.

SemperBufo (#1,849)

This here is a team that wants to control the ball.

I'm surprised that the percentages for "unsure" weren't higher.

I, for one, find the use of the word "unsure" in conversation to be extremely annoying. In fact, every time someone utters the word "unsure" in my presence, I feel like slapping them, hard, across the face.

At first I thought these were people that were unsure of whether or not they hated any of these particular words.

HonoriaGlossop (#1,247)

"What a difference a day makes."

TableNine (#1,104)

Gifting. Nuptials.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Preggo. Oh how I hate that.

TableNine (#1,104)

Agreed. And yet I am somehow okay with "preggers".

Emily (#20)

"Hubby"

Abe Sauer (#148)

And "baby bump". horrible.

wiilliiaamm (#225)

"Titties" and people who say "shyte"–when their not british.

I'll see your "Baby Bump" and raise you a "Yummy Mummy".
In fact any use of the word "Mummy" that doesn't involve sticking your toilet paper-clad arms striaght out in front of you and moaning.

LondonLee (#922)

I hate it when Americans say "wanker" too. Find your own fucking insults, wankers.

Tulletilsynet (#333)

LondonLee, we just call you all wankers to make you feel at home. (– Sorry! Meant to say "you lot"!)

My workplace has a mixture of about 70% wankers and 20% jerkoffs with a few other nationalities doing their foreign thing over in the corner. So I think I get to say "wanker" sometimes — or don't I?

SemperBufo (#1,849)

Lee's right, you know. We invented "shitheel." Do we really need "wanker" too? Although, sometimes, it's EXACTLY right.

hazmathilda (#839)

"bosom" gets me every time

katiebakes (#32)

Mae Mordabito: What if at a key moment in the game my, my uniform bursts open and, uh, oops, my bosoms come flying out? That, that might draw a crowd, right?
Doris Murphy: You think there are men in this country who ain't seen your bosoms?

garge (#736)

Exception to the rule!

p is for pee (#900)

Yay! WORD HATE! Can this be a weekly occasion? I'm just sayin… I mean, whatever.

"interesting"

mathnet (#27)

"Pleasure" as a verb.

Throw in "happy ending."

brent_cox (#40)

"Thus far"

Dickdogfood (#650)

There aren't really any words I hate, and even the phrases I profess to hate I find myself using at work.

It's when words and phrases get strung together to form sentences that the hate really begins.

Dickdogfood (#650)

Like, say, that clichéd J. Hoberman piece on Robert Frank last week.

Baboleen (#1,430)

My mother was in AA. Anytime I gave her attitude was an opportunity to throw it's (A.A.'s) phrases in my face as in, "Live and Let Live", "One Day At a Time", "Turn It Over", "Keep It Simple." Of course I now remind myself of these excersises all of the time.

It works if you work it.

Baboleen (#1,430)

touche'

nataliee (#552)

@Baboleen Gesundheit

garge (#736)

My mother has an arsenal of Born-Again-Christianisms … "blessed" kills me. Perhaps if/when I go to AA, we can have a meeting of the minds.

ladycrumpet (#1,768)

It gets my dander up whenever people tell me to have a blessed day. Don't foist that on me!

HonoriaGlossop (#1,247)

If I ever complained about anything, my super-Catholic mom would tell me to "offer it up." I actually said it to her a few months ago and was amply rewarded by the look on her face… I thought she was going to punch me.

Baboleen (#1,430)

AA isn't allied with any sect, denomination, or religion. Just sayin…

garge (#736)

Its acknowledgment of a higher power itself is a leap from my agnosticism. No judgment–

bb (#295)

let go and let god!

katiebakes (#32)

Ineffable.

I'm sick of "czar." "Tsar," on the other hand, is fine.

zidaane (#373)

Can we "take this offline" cause right now I "don't have the bandwidth".

RocketSurgeon (#1,632)

Offline is a big peeve of mine. I've been in face-to-face meetings where people have said, "Let's discuss off-line". Grrr.

TableNine (#1,104)

Fetch.

"Rock" as a verb. Especially when (over)used by music-centric sites.

HonoriaGlossop (#1,247)

Ugh, I agree. Along these same lines is "peaced," i.e., to leave.

cherrispryte (#444)

Compliance. Panties.

Using "I feel" in place of "I think".

I hated that "vajayjay" thing.

HiredGoons (#603)

For realz, y'all.

sox (#652)

behoove.
also, kooter (as a nickname, animal reference, or as slang for female genitalia).

SemperBufo (#1,849)

I can't really say I'm done with "cooter" (but I LOVE that you spell it with a "K").

Hella.

ProfessorBen (#1,254)

I find Hella and its safer little sister Hecka to be endearing. It's the central-california/east-bay version of boston's 'wicked'. And what's wrong with a little linguistic diversity? [but yeah, overused, can be a annoying]

RocketSurgeon (#1,632)

Yuckiest word: mucus. Everything about it conjures grossness.

Ron Obvious (#351)

Embiggen. Facilitate. Gift used as a verb. Green. Synergy. Branding. Value-Added. Effort used as a verb…anyone have a Ouija board? We need to get George Carlin in on this.

Emily (#20)

embiggen is better than "grow"

Tulletilsynet (#333)

Yes, ban transitive "grow" … unless the object is a plant or a testicle, and then it's okay.

karion (#11)

Flavor profiles. Monetize. Overshare. Ginormous. Fierce. Social networking. Personal branding.

I like the word beg.

migraineheadache (#1,866)

deconstruct

Flashman (#418)

Cremains

ProfessorBen (#1,254)

My husband hates the words yo-yo and flip-flop because of their repetitive properties.

Bittersweet (#765)

"Going forward." I hear it at least twice a day in conference calls and my hearing dies a little each time in protest.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

"going forward, at this juncture" – i'm going forward with a sharp object as i stab you repeatedly in the juncture.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

What's wrong with Salami?! Pepperoni you! Go Pastrami yourself!

Rasselas (#1,797)

Bacon. Agency. Local. Patriarchy. Tweet. TMI.

amuselouche (#448)

Umami.

mBrad (#1,276)

drill down (instead of navigate)

metoometoo (#230)

I now recall quite vividly why I decided that an advertising agency was not a good environment for me.

melis (#1,854)

juxtaposition

Steve (#1,777)

I want to stab everyone who says "try and" instead of "try to." You don't "try and" anything.

Also, Americans who say/sign "Cheers" in all contexts not including the clanking of glasses and the imbibing of alcohol.

Bittersweet (#765)

Guilty of "Cheers" – but what else do you say to a friend or colleague? "Best regards" is too formal, "Love" makes everyone uncomfortable, and don't even get me started on "Fondly"…

LondonLee (#922)

Just say "Regards" I do, it's not too formal. But then again I'm English so apart from being naturally a little formal I also have "Cheers" to fall back on.

Tulletilsynet (#333)

I think "try and" is semantically different from "try to," and the semantic distinction lines up with the syntactic difference. One has to do more basically with (successfully) doing, the other with trying. "Try to do better" doesn't conversationally imply that effort will probably bring success. "Try and do better" conversationally implies that success is within reach.

johnpseudonym (#1,452)

Sarah Palin.

Hez (#147)

"Utilize." That is a fist to the face of my word-loving soul every time I hear it. Makes even the use of a pen sound like a fucking surgical procedure.

And really, pretty much any polysyllabic word dumb people use to sound SMRT on TV courtroom shows (especially the use of "ignorant" as an insult, when they can barely pronounce it).

Art Yucko (#1,321)

"UU IGNAHINT."

missdelite (#625)

Any and all bodily function words/phrases.
Also "bodily function".

Tulletilsynet (#333)

OH WAIT I CAN TOP ALL OF THOSE!

I just remembered the worst word in the world: "Language."

As in, "Pervasive language." Don't take your kids to this movie. It's ridden with language.

cinetrix (#47)

Even worse: "Can you language that?"

Tulletilsynet (#333)

That sounds awful, but what does it mean?

cinetrix (#47)

PRECISELY.

Fleurdamour (#1,861)

"Language" in a legal context. Any made-up b.s. corporate name like Accenture. Trafficky. "At" used at the end of a sentence ("Where are you at?" – come ON, people). Incentivize. Talent. The last two especially together. And especially in regard to Wall Street.

Bonus – Words I Like: Socks. Dipsh*t. Paid. Flower. Boogie. Kindly. Flue.

Bittersweet (#765)

Accenture, blurgh! Accentuate *this* future, buddy.

Of course, I work for a major Accenture competitor, so I might be a tad biased on this one…

Dipsh*t is an awesome word. And I can't see or hear "turd" or "monkey" without at least smiling.

Fleurdamour (#1,861)

Monkey – ha, ha! You're right, it just sounds funny.

Fleurdamour (#1,861)

I also like non sequitur. And sinister. And kestrel, and wiener dog, and jade. OK, I'll stop now.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Calling your breasts "girls" or "the girls"

Or testicles "boys" or "the boys."

slinkimalinki (#182)

or calling sperm "boys". because they aren't.

Schnormal (#1,864)

mouthfeel

MILF.

But maybe that's finally over? I hope so.

Dave Bry (#422)

Pupil. Pupa. Pupae. I hate that sound.

On the plus side, reading The Awl today, I found a new favorite: "cockbomb."

smapdi (#1,306)

The most repulsive of the portmanteaus.

smapdi (#1,306)

Cremains.
That was a reply to flashman.

cinetrix (#47)

Is that like "craisins?" Ontologically speaking?

Tulletilsynet (#333)

Okay, it's time. Who's going to alphabetize these?

SemperBufo (#1,849)

"Really??"

It's now being used in commercials and by the fourth-graders in my neighborhood. Shouldn't we be done here?

carpetblogger (#306)

I had Lasik yesterday and have near perfect vision today, so I LOVE this word.

bb (#295)

"it" should be on there because it features so prominently in "it is what it is."

kiki (#1,883)

I *finally* registered just for the honor: journey. I blame Oprah.

kiki (#1,883)

I believe use of "wha happened?" is finally beginning to dwindle.

Ledrew (#654)

"space" in any non-NASA-like context, as a synonym for "field": "I'm looking for something in the technology space."

Tulletilsynet (#333)

Just be alert for people who put it at the end of a sentence.

"I'm looking for something in the technology sp…"

""… space! The last frontier!"

But the timing is crucial.

OuackMallard (#774)

You know, at the end of the day it is what it is.

Fleurdamour (#1,861)

Someone should write a book using all of these horrible words.

slinkimalinki (#182)

impotency. ironical.

acc (#1,905)

misuse of "literally" and "begs the question"

Sins of Kzoo (#1,892)

Essentially is, in essence, overused.

Post a Comment