Friday, June 3, 2011

Words I Never Use

This is, I suppose, the precise opposite of a staircase thought, or perhaps there should be a term for something you are glad you haven't said. Is there such a term? Anyway, there are certain words I simply cannot abide. In The Memory Of All That, I went out of my way to avoid "scion," "prestigious," and "socialite." Those very words have already been used, and I am sure will continue to be used, by others who have something to say about the book.

My word prejudices run deep and wide. For example, I am very unfond of "veggies." It's familial. My sister-in-law feels faint at the mention of "brunch." One of my daughters gets the cringies from "moist." What are your no-no-no-never! words?


  1. "Garlicky," esp. when followed by the almost-inevitable "aïoli" (because if aïoli has no garlic in it, it's plain ol' mayonnaise, isn't it?)... the inscrutable expression "by design"... and the dreaded "had hads" -- whether spelled out or in awful contractions such as "I'd had..." -- which appear like magic in nearly every recent novel or autobiography.

    Thank you for letting me vent, and for writing such masterful books full of smarty-pants words ;-) Trixie

  2. "awesome," and "really." Those start the list, but you can tell from these that I am often confronted with student writing.

    I don't much like "impervious." It's an awkward word.

  3. I am not fond of "equivocate." It makes me itchy.

  4. "Sammy" for the same reasons you dislike veggies. It feels entirely inorganic, and I suspect was coined by a "sammy" chain's advertising team.

    "Authentic" is, with certain concrete exceptions, the most inauthentic word in the language. Ninety percent of the time, it's used to certify the subjective as objective while gussying the "authentic" claim with a tinge of truth and nostalgia.

  5. Hmmm...I don't like the word "impervious," either. and "yuck." I hate "yuck."

  6. Cliche. I think it is inhuman. I love people and it hurts me when I see them trying to be other than what they are. Including me, of course. I tend to hate myself when that word has any influence on my thoughts.