I’m a writer and writers are supposed to love words, so they say. And I do, I really do. It’s a thrill to find just the right word to express an idea. It’s lovely to come across a word I’ve never heard before and to learn what it means.
But there are some words and phrases that make me grit my teeth and long to bash someone over the head with a shoe. If I wore heels, I’d possibly even use a stiletto, but I doubt I’d hurt anyone with my Keds sneakers. So I’ll just have to issue a heartfelt plea – don’t say these things in front of me or you’ll ruin my Zen.
I admit it’s irrational, but I can’t stand it when someone says they’re going to “sleep in.” What does that even mean? I adore the idea of sleeping LATE! I hate to get up in the morning! But sleep IN? In what, where? Don’t say it, please!
My husband often tells me he’s going to “take a hot tub.” I bet it’s obvious what I’m going to say. Take it where? Please don’t take the hot tub! Go into it, and then leave it where it is so others can enjoy it later.
When someone asks how I’m doing, I’ll say “fine” or “great” or something along those lines. But some people say, “I’m doing well.” Yes, it’s grammatically correct. But still, it always makes me pause and think that the person seems, well, kind of stuffy.
Then there are individual words that make me cringe.
For a long time it seems that the heroes in romance novels were extremely fond of “laving” various parts of the heroine’s body. Though I haven’t encountered this in a while (Dare I hope it’s become outdated?) I can still recall my outrage every time I encountered this activity. Because “lave” means “wash,” according to Webster. Not quite the image the author had in mind, no doubt.
In no particular order, I can’t stand the words puke, zit, fart, and bolus. Why bolus, you ask? I have no clue, but when my dentist once said I had a bolus of food stuck under my gum I wanted to retch (not puke, please!) not from the thought of the food itself but from the sound of the word. I’m not sure why all of these words describe somewhat unpleasant bodily functions. I have nothing against the functions themselves. Except bolus, which falls into another category entirely.
I once had a friend who couldn’t stand the word “bosom.” I delighted in singing “Rock my Soul in the Bosom of Abraham” endlessly to her. Maybe my aversion to the above words and phrases is payback of some sort. One never knows.