I hate the word "icky," though I'll use it once every blue moon, and only then in the presence of someone who knows how much I despise it, to get a point across. My sister cringes every time she hears the phrase "dry-hump," especially in a sentence in full context.
As much as I adore words—circle them, write them down on backs of receipts, and get excited about using them just as chef might salivate over a new set of knives—there are also ones I simply abhor ("abhor" is one of them).
Sometimes it's purely the word's sound (like abhor or "phlegm"), sometimes it's the associative meaning (like dry-hump), or sometimes it can be an entirely personal reason behind one's disdain. Thanks to my sister calling me creepy once, I now hate that word too. An argument followed and she admitted that she misused the adjective, but too late and too bad for creepy! I want nothing to do with it!
Trendy, zeitgeisty words typically stir up some kind of critical backlash from wordsmiths, but I really can't be bothered with those ones; they'll go just as quickly as they came.
I asked my friend Lauren which words put her off, and "moist" immediately came to mind. Funny enough, another oddball friend who occasionally likes to get down and wordy pointed out that she's hardly alone. Last month, The New Yorker's Ben Greenman put a call out for words that should be excommunicated from our vocabularies, to which "moist," was the number one offender.
What are some words you can't bear to hear? And perhaps more importantly, why?