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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Annoying words

When Kurt Andersen took over as editor of New York Magazine, he wrote a list of all the words he found annoying and told his staff not to use them during his tenure. They made me laugh out loud.

Do you agree with this list? What other words do you find annoying? (I hate triangulate and moist:)

(Via Swissmiss, via The New York Times)

331 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 331 of 331
Lindsay said...

"snarky". "nom nom". "brilliant".

"smitten".

"moist" doesnt bother me at all. Most of the words on that list don't bother me actually!

SanDee said...

I hate "makeshift," as "a makeshift morgue was set up in the gymnasium..."

Blue Is Bleu said...

As an ex-journo I agree with his list! We'd always been taught to not use too much flourish with our words so I say this list is spot on.

Yellow Cat Studio said...

I love this list...I use some of these words!

Very cool

nicole

Cassandra Marie said...

Too many of these peoples' replies made me laugh out loud! So many funny words! I'd personally have to agree with "moist" so. disgusting.

Another one I shudder at the thought of is "gargle".

Missy said...

I hate trendy words like "epic". If I have to hear one more person exclaim "last night was epic!"...

Anonymous said...

Partner as a verb. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

Mel - The Organic Mamas said...

panties - yuk!

Rinda said...

Nibble. I hate that word.

Rinda said...

Missy, you are totally right. The word "epic" should be banned from the world.

rebecca said...

It's a phrase, not a word, but I was so happy when "It is what it is" fell out of use. Very few things are outside of one's influence or control; mostly, people were using the phrase to deflect their responsibility.

Jo Luehmann said...

I had a conversation recently about words I love and words I dislike and they thoguht I was weird, thank you all for making me feel normal.

Words I dislike

Panties
Shampoo (although I have to use it I really dislike it)
Stoked
Bestie
Preggers
Tats
Cheesy
Shut it (to ask a person to stop talking because what they are saying is unbelievable)

Words I love
Illegal (The meaning is not that wonderful but i love the sound of it)
Wonderful
Grand
Outstanding
Beau
Lovely
Adore
Dreary
Soirée
Lullaby

Life Abroad said...

tapioca, plethora, and "gifted"

Anna said...

Moist is just the worst.

Meagan said...

Anything "a go go".

Lauren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karin said...

clot. as in blood clot...makes me queasy. however, just because it bothers me, i wouldn't block other people from using the word. i find his list to be annoying and arrogant.

j. said...

'curated' - it's so overused that it's annoying.
'dungarees' which my dad still uses to this day...gives me the willies!
'bud' as a nickname for all the little boys out there...for whatever reason it drives me nuts!
'pumps' - like in the small heeled shoes...also gives me the willies.

and i so agree in 'preggers'....yuck!

Orchid Grey said...

I CANNOT STAND 'bistro'.

I also dislike panty.

Louise said...

I hate the word 'ointment' and also when people say "yeah, nah..."

blind irish pirate said...

What a diva. If I went around making those demands, I'd get laughed out of my career, regardless of how many years and experiences I had in my resume and under my belt.

michelle said...

Ha! All of mine are already listed: moist, pop instead of soda, preggers, irregardless instead of regardless.

the lil bee said...

OMG my sister-in-law is going to DIE when I show her this. Her all-time most hated word is MOIST. She can't even say it, she has to spell it out if it's ever necessary to say!

I can't stand DIVA. Or when people pronounce "mature" as "matoor".

This list is hysterical. And I'm pretty sure Kurt Anderson would slash my ass up with a big red pen!

Rachael said...

So many of these are word-pet-peeves of mine. I think writing "intoned" instead of "said" and "queried" instead of "asked" are some of the worst ever. Thank you for sharing this. "Tapped" is only okay for "chosen" in playground games. "Eatery" is never okay.

pigeon pie said...

I love this list! I wish I could have a list like this that people actually followed. My vocabulary peeve is when people speak with inflections... does everything need to be a question?

Tiffany said...

Just as with San Fran, I hate it when people say Cali. Only people who aren't from California call it Cali. Also the unanimous panties and moist!

Jamie said...

"Proverbial" is such a fluffy, overused word. It's like nails on a chalkboard every time I hear it.

Anonymous said...

I hate when people say "whatev" or "whatevs" as in, "whatever." Seriously? Finish the word! I also hate "syringe." (Just the sound of it makes my arm hurt.) My favorite word is "serendipity." : ) Love this list, Jo!

Anonymous said...

Haha, this is hilarious! As I type I'm afraid I might use a word that somebody hates!! As for me, for some reason the word "embed" freaks me out. I completely agree on the "le sigh/le tired" thing--annoying and I don't get it. Stinky/Smelly--ew. "Cool beans"--kinda corny. So many more!

Chessa! said...

I cannot stand "moist" either. gross. there was a How I Met Your Mother episode about it bc Lily hates that word too so Barney did a "play" where he just said "moist" "moist" "moist" over and over again.

as a photographer I hate "pics" why? And I'm a huge fan of shortening words except not that one...and hubby. ew. hubs, yes, sometimes but never "hubby".

Kathryn Elise said...

I hate the word "comical"!

Shea Nichole said...

Not a big fan of "heya" or "hiya". Just say hi or hello please :)

Anonymous said...

while I have pet peeve words, I'm more impressed and elated when seldolmy used ones pop in pieces I'm reading. It's refreshing, and I like being challenged, even if it means dusting off the dictionary.

don't think I'd like an editor who was so limiting! everyone has their own style.

Words I LOVE:
bucolic
lilt
catalyst
libations
bilouminescent
nude
palimpset
cunt
sanguine
halcyon
heinous
insousiance

Sydney said...

hahahaa why would he make such list? and what if a staff accidentally use one of these banned words? haha!

k + b said...

"IT IS WHAT IT IS"
whenever someone says this i can't help but think... no shit.

k + b said...

i also can't believe this many people hate preggo and preggers and i still hear it multiple times a week. dis.gust.ing. please pass it along to friends to take it out of their vocab. pleeease.

Anonymous said...

But I wouldn't mind if Stephen Fry used any of these words. Especially "moist".

Sarah Haigh said...

I hate hubby too. It makes me cringe whenever I hear someone say it. The word is husband. Shouldn't it be husby?

twirlingbetty said...

"Task" used as a verb. Drives me mad.

Anonymous said...

Every inch of my skin crawls when I hear people use the word "curate" in a completely ridiculous and improper way. Sorry, your list of "fave sushi places" isn't curated. Maybe it's because I am a museum curator... but I find it incredibly annoying.

Anonymous said...

i can't stand "hubby"--and when someone says "awesome" in every other sentence.

Anonymous said...

panties---brrrrrrrrrrrr

Lauren said...

I agree with moist! Another one that makes me shudder is 'crusty.' Ew.

I like old-fashioned words that feel like they came out of a black and white film. Like 'darling' or 'fabulous' :)

Norbyah said...

it's funny you put this here because my mother and i are both english teachers and often have discussions about words we dislike. her least favorite word is when people use' impact' as a verb rather than 'have an impact on'. my least favorite word is 'verbage.' can't stand it.

Sadie said...

I hate "jarred," as in "jarred salsa." I actually wrote a letter to Real Simple magazine about it; it just drives me crazy! I imagine the salsa being startled and discombobulated.

jenny said...

"per se" because it sounds pretentious.

"ironic" when mistakenly used to mean "fitting".

Anonymous said...

Utilize! We already have a word for that. It's "use."

Naomi said...

oh god. my friend wrote me an email that she was going to make a "resy" -- as in reservation -- for dinner.

I agreed to go so long as she never used the word "resy" ever again

elizabeth said...

"OM NOM NOM."

I hate that. SO MUCH. I don't know why, but it is so aggravating to me. It makes me think twice about a person when they use "om nom nom."

I also hate "pamphlet," but really only when spoken aloud.

Liane Ingrid said...

I hate it when people say "orientate". It's supposed to be "orient". Like when they say... I need to get "orientated" NOOO!!!! It always makes me cringe.

Kathy said...

When people say they "lurve" something. It's so gross and trashy sounding.

Fashalina aka The Hyperbalist said...

hahah I get most of these but LIFESTYLE?

courtney said...

Mani, pedi, vacay, bestie, hubby, hubs, preggo, preggers. And I hate it when people say, "I know, right?"

RD said...

Ha, my teenage daughter hates the word "moist" and I've never heard of anyone else having an issue with it. I laughed so hard it made my eyes moist! (Yeah, okay, well I can see...)

Heather said...

Ah Alex, so cute to leave a comment for your wife. Jo - funny that you hate moist, I can't stand the word moisture.

annie said...

Words that should not be:
on trend, on-message, mission statement, jonesing, gifted (when used as a verb, when you mean to give somebody something).

Malinda Kay said...

can we add "swoon" to that list?! so overused!! haha!!

annie said...

Thought of more...
flange
trolleys (English slang for male underwear)
absolutely (whatever happened to saying yes)
belly (shivering here, people)
crimbo, crimbles instead of Christmas (again, English)
archive meaning to put away for a bit

Kattia-San Francisco My Song said...

I live in San Francisco, I hate the word "Hella" and "Frisco", just typing them made me cringe.

Anonymous said...

I moved to the area in which I live about 8 years ago. There are many, many phrases from this region that really annoy me. Examples:

"It's pouring down the rain."
"Are you being have?"
"Whenever I was younger..."
"So don't I."

I am most annoyed by grammatical and spelling errors. Spell/grammar check was invented for a reason!

Please use the correct form of there/their/they're and its/it's. I do not like when the word "color" is pronouced "collar."

Weird is not spelled wierd.

Liv said...

I find it really ugly to write LOL

Johanna said...

Holy cr*p! I hate the word "moist"! It makes my skin crawl!!!

Izabella said...

LOVE this!! I think the world can absolutely use a lot less of all of these words.

Hilary Grace said...

I hate the words casserole and slacks. Yuck yuck yuck. That list is hilarious, and I see what he's saying!

togetherinadream.blogspot.com

Lilly said...

I hate the word "funky"...people throw that word around and it just feels dated, things were funky in the 90's maybe but I don't think funky belongs in this millenium...just sayin':)

Anna Elena said...

This list is hilarious, and Alex's comment on it is also hilarious! I never really thought about all the generic-trendy words used in journalism (and blogs, etc.), and I can see why they would irritate the crap out of someone after a while!

I agree with the people who hate Prego/preggers - my husband said it once, and then I smothered him with a pillow.

Also I hate words that aren't words. Or phrases gotten wrong - Irregardless, Addicting, and All of the sudden all inspire violent tendencies in me.

Kirsten said...

I tried to write this before! Can't believe he banned the word "zeitgeist". I love that word and deliberately try to stick it into something. You gave me an idea to blog about. Thank you!

Kirsten said...

I hate "to go" as in "Coffee to go, please." I far prefer the more traditional (in my country, anyway!) "Coffee to take away, please."

Anonymous said...

Oh my, he's a kindred spirit. My husband keeps a list of words that he knows not to use around me. I regularly update it. A number of them are business jargon terms that are not part of the official English language, but are making their way into everyday speech. Well, not if I can help it!
Melissa

Nicole said...

how about "natch" (short for naturally)?! it took me forever to figure out what the hell people were trying to say, but i kept seeing it in blogs and magazine articles. it is so ridiculous!

also hate "pop of color", panties, lover, hubby...

oh, and also when people say "Hotlanta" instead of Atlanta. that drives me mad!

i also can't stand the overuse of quotes and air quotes, which i find myself guilty of often. (ahem, maybe even in this post)

Kate said...

Hahaha- I love this- esp. the way he's titled the list "Words We Don't Say" like he's talking to a bunch of children!

Elspeth said...

Everyone's hatred of "moist" makes me laugh! Bestie should be banned everywhere! It's just so saccharine it makes me want to puke. Along with "totes" as an abbreviation for "totally". Also on my hate list: when people say "I feel that..." when they're stating a thought or opinion (are you really afraid to say that you "think" something people?!). Yeah, and "epic" (in the overused hyperbolic sense).

I love "perfunctory". I'll also admit to being a person who has commonly said "Cali" and "San Fran", but I may cease doing so now that I've read this list :-)

Louise said...

Worst words:

Cumquat
Hubby
Muggacino (as in a mug sized-cappucino)
Classy

...And the mother of all cringeworthy words: "Scrummy" (as in, a mix of scrumptious (which is bad enough) and yummy. Eg: "Mmm, these scones are so scrummy!" BLERG!

Elspeth said...

And ginormous. It makes me feel violent inside.

Kristen said...

My boss says ridonculous. I want to bonk him on the head.

Anonymous said...

chillax, flag up, play date.

Southern Girl said...

This list works and eponymous is overly used, especially in fashion copy.

Sarah said...

Meh
Artisanal (overused)
Vis a vis
Absolutely! (to express total agreement)
Vacay

Maiz Connolly said...

Loved this post and all the comments, too! I had no idea that so many people hate the word "moist," and will have to start using it more often to see what happens :o

I cringe when I hear or read, "oh so" as in "that was oh so wonderful" and also whenever someone says, "that's how I roll."

Sally Cage said...

I hate the word "dollop". Gross.

I work in advertising in Australia and I can't stand the word "bespoke" or the phrases "moving forward"; "at the end of the day"; and "we'll just have to suck it and see".

Kate said...

"Panties" is pretty much the worst word ever uttered by man. What genius decided that women's underwear resembled pants more than those worn by men?

I think with most of these words that people dislike it's the way you have to enunciate them--"Pahn-tees". If you say them quickly to get it over with, it becomes an issue--"pannies" can become pennies or penis when said fast without enunciation, and that devolves into a whole different situation. Another word that is similarly frustrating and cringeworthy: menstruation. Think about it "men-strew-ay-shun" vs. "men-stray-shn" (Penn Station?).

blue moss said...

Too funny!

Supple
Panty hose

J said...

CROTCH is the most foul word

Jessica said...

I HATE the word "moist" unless you're referring to a cake or a towelette! ;)

lindsay said...

OMG - ORGANIC, BOUTIQUE AND CURATED are my least favourite things EVER right now. I feel like people say organic for everything these days.
The best is "I'm curating an organic, boutique party for such & such." UUUUGH. worst.

Fonty said...

I'm not quite fond of "perky" lol

Jennifer said...

I'm not big on 'moist' either, but it instantly makes me think of this clip from "How I Met Your Mother":
http://youtu.be/zk20WWY15uc

Sally said...

@"Liesl Ayers-Southwell"; "Zeitgeist" does not mean "rythem ghost" but "time ghost" > zeit = time... I'm from Denmark and have been learning German since the age of ten (still hate it though)
"Zeitgeist" is such a trending word in the Danish fashion world these days - sounds funny, but I've heard it a little too much lately ;)
(Not to be a nerd or anything - just wanted to clear things up) :)

Alison said...

I really dislike the word "slammed" as in so and slow slams so and so. It just is so overly dramatic! I think journalists should ban that word because they use it too often.

Jellystone said...

I don't like the phrase "___ is the new ___"

Vagina is an ugly word too.

Natalie said...

Worst words ever:
Placenta
Nibble
And the people that mispronounce the word "tortilla" or "quesadilla"-- the double L is a Y sound and not an L sound.

Stylelinx said...

Worst? Is when a person over the age of 5 uses "heart" instead of like or love. As in, "I heart this".

SuSach said...

a LOT of people I know don't like the word "moist"!! what is it with that word that offends so many people?? haha

lavieetme.blogspot.com

Vale Cervarich said...

My best friend and I are known for not liking Purple. Not just the word (which is icky) but pretty much the whole color. At first, you think, well that's ridiculous. You can't not like a whole color. But I do. Or, don't.

Has anyone mentioned mauve?

ana said...

Holistic! Hate it.

Anonymous said...

My dad hates "as well" he thinks it's a pretentious way to say "also"

He calls people who overuse it "as well people" as in:
she's an as well person

Vanessa said...

I'd add overuse of "awkward," especially when situations described are not so.

melissa said...

i kept wanting to comment here but i forgot--i keep reading blogs, especially craft or diy blogs, where the author writes that a project is "easy peasy lemon squeezy"!!!! it embarrasses me just to write it.

MacKenzie_b said...

saying "heart" instead of "love." JUST SAY LOVE!!

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Anonymous said...

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Lisa said...

lol on the "panties". That's #1 for me, too! And when did it become "I 'heart' NY"?! The little hand gesture making the heart while saying it is doubly annoying. Here's a list I did, you may like it:

Best 5 Words to Drive WordNerds Crazy
http://www.best5everything.com/best5ListPages/words-drive-wordnerds-crazy-74844.php

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secure tabs said...

Why do you consider all these words are annoying? I think I can save ¡some of these, for example the world zeitgeist I can save because all things that documentary mentions is totally truth, I think you should watch the video in order t see the reality of life.

secure tabs said...

Why do you consider all these words are annoying? I think I can save ¡some of these, for example the world zeitgeist I can save because all things that documentary mentions is totally truth, I think you should watch the video in order t see the reality of life.

Derick said...

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Klara said...

Haha, I think everybody hates the word moist.

Fay Wood said...

I would have to agree with many of these comments; would like to add that I hate it when people say PIN number, ATM Machine and so forth- when my manager says ABN number (Australian Business Number) to me I cringe. I also cannot stand it when people get plurals wrong: E.g. "Date of births", "Brother in laws"..it's insanity. Finally, when people use "I" in a situation where they should use "me" - "look at this photo of Jo and I" instead of "look at this photo of Jo and me".
However, if someone could please provide a synonomous alternatve for lifestyle, I'd greatly appreciate it! My recently established blog is based entirely around that word! To make matters worse, the domain is actually a PUN based on the word! Oh dear...

Veronica said...

Word that make me cringe: Menstruation, flacid, diarrhea, circumcision, just to name a few.

Shanti Das said...

Snog! Ugh.

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I agree, for the most part, but don’t you feel as if the issue is more complex than that?

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Missy said...

"incentivize" "paradigm" "volunteerism" in politics, like they are trying to make the word more than it is. I also don't care for non-profit speak either with all of their hyphens and ambiguity, words like.. at-risk, capacity-building, project-based, participatory.... so fluffy
I don't mind people who mess up grammar or use words incorrectly though, everyone makes mistakes.

Jenifer said...

fart
thunk (as in "Who would have thunk it?"...makes me violent when I hear it!)
dovetail
preggers

jo said...

oh, i so totally hate "gifted" as well. i always think, "what? when did that become a word?!? isn't the past tense of give "gave"? "gifted" just sounds so pretentious.

Wendy said...

I dislike the phrase "price point". Can't "price" or "cost" be used instead? Also being Canadian I don't like the word "foyer" pronounced with the "r" at the end.

Betti said...

"rythem ghost"? Geist can also mean mind or spirit (as in this case) and Zeit is always time. Anyway, I love how people use German words in their language. The pronounciation! To die for. I heard some Americans also use "schimmflügel". Is that true? And why is it that you have to choose the most complicated words?

Maria said...

hate the phrase "touch base" unless it is a literal baseball reference dont use it!

Suni Johnson said...

The world SPELT is really annoying or when people say "FINNA" - really?? That's not a word!

Super funny post because my hubby and I talk about words that bug us all the time that people in/not in our lives say!

http://iheartlittlelovebug.blogspot.com

maria said...

wrank....its not even a real word
flippies instead of flip flops....
& per--referencing 'according to'

Heather said...

Errands. I've always disliked that word.

GinaMarie said...

So many here that I dislike, but I haven't seen the phrase that has been bugging me lately: 'nuff said.

Makes my skin crawl. If you don't need to say anything, then don't say anything! And I'm also annoyed by silly abbreviations.

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Mariah said...

Grub (as in lets get some grub), Flatulate, Y’all, Folks, Dang, Uber, Brouhaha, Zit, Quench (to quench your thirst) , The phrase (last, but not least…) Panties, Buggers, Hubby, Wifey, Preggers (I could keep going, but my list was getting long)

Wendy said...

I dislike the phrase "price point".

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