So, it’s not just me: apparently “moist” is one of the most hated words in (North) America. I can’t decide whether I feel vindicated about my lifelong repulsion towards it, conjuring up, as it does, images of mould, bugs hiding under wet rocks, off food, earwigs in dank basements, laundry gone sour, unwashed bodies in the humidity—hey! Where are you going? I was talking about that creepily disgusting M-word, and whether I can’t decide whether I feel vindicated that it is, apparently, the “patron yuck-word of the [word aversion] movement” or simply resigned to the fact that I will never be original. According to Mark Peters of Good Magazine:
… word aversion has something to do with the sound and structure of the word itself. S]ome reactions are “…bred of the mysterious relationships between language, motion, memory, sound and ‘mouthfeel.’” I’m more used to seeing the word mouthfeel in discussions about beer, but it sure does get at the physical violation some feel when saying certain words.
For years, I had egotistically assumed that the way my stomach turned when confronted with “moist” was a deeply personal, highly idiosyncratic — and slightly adorable — quirk. Nope. Same with my next-least-favourites: “panties” and “slacks.” Everybody hates them. I’m just a demographic. Again. It's All Been Done before. Depressing, no? Might as well go mix up another round of Caesars (with the new Grey Goose vodka — which has just fantastic mouthfeel, by the way) and go join one of the many the “I hate the word ‘moist’” Facebook groups. Who knew?
Thanks to Deborah over at Peaches & Coconuts for the heads up on word aversion!