Vocabulary again and from that rich source, Gransnet. This time "words that make you shudder," prompted by a poster's son-in-law's visceral reaction to the word "moist." He is not alone. In 2012, university researchers in Ohio and Texas, ran a study to find out why "moist" was such an unpopular word (about 20% of the population can't stand the word). Possibilities considered were negative sexual connotations, combination of phonemes and the way that pronouncing the word forces the face into a kind of grimace. Reactions were affected by age, general squeamishness or neuroticism and not a response to sound alone ("foist," "hoist" and "rejoiced" elicited no such reactions).
There is a Facebook page "I hate the word moist" with around 3,000 followers. Even the counterbalancing associations with "cake that is not dry" can't deflect the haters. It's known as "word aversion" and we all have our pet hates. On Gransnet many respondents said, "I can't even bring myself to write the word." But they did and responses ran to 14 pages!
I broke them down into categories:
Associations with the word meanings
Mucous, phlegm, snot, sputum, vomit, discharge - sorry, everyone!
Pass (away), toilet, love handles, pensioner, girls (for breasts)
The get go, train station, guys, "you do the math," gift (as a verb), movie
Chrimbo, hubby, fur baby, hollibobs, comfy, yummy, babe, tummy, bestie
Lounge, serviette, settee, sweet or afters (for pudding), "pardon?" and possibly nanny, nan or nana for "grandmother"
Clearly "U" and "Non-U" live on.
gob, belly, bog and all swearwords
Going forward, blue sky thinking, reach out
"of" for "have," "so" at the beginning of sentences, "haitch," "off of," "less" for "fewer," "like" as a hesitation marker.
Anyway, please tell me your "shudder" words in the Comments below. Mine are "hubby," "banter," "prank" and "parboil."
Word of the week: Vigil
It comes from a Latin word meaning "staying awake." In the Middle Ages in England a squire would spend the night keeping vigil, bathing, fasting and praying until the morning when he would be knighted. In Christian liturgy it means the night before a major feast: the Easter vigil used to be at midnight on Easter Saturday, though it is usually earlier now. Likewise, Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.
But it has come to have a strong secular meaning as a silent gathering to mourn the death of a person, such as Sarah Everard, or in commemoration of an event.
A vigil is not a protest or demonstration, although it may contain elements of both because of what the mourning stands for.