Words we love to hate

A week ago I ran into a wonderful blog post that made me think about the words I most love—and hate. In some cases, there’s a reason why I love a particular word. I just love saying “mellifluous,” for example. And “sonsy.” Other times, my intense dislike for a word is inexplicably visceral. Just hearing the word “visceral” makes me a little queasy.

Out of curiosity, last week I asked my friends to contribute their own most-hated words. True to their sunny dispositions, my friends also submitted some of their favorites. And interestingly, we had a bit of disagreement over “moist.” One person’s moist chocolate cake is another person’s moist, slug-covered forest floor, apparently.

Anyway … at first I thought it might be fun to combine everyone’s words into a short story. Alas, no one wants to read a story whose first line is

The cellar door on the puce hafenschlepper creaked mellifluously as the moist rust metastasized upon the door’s gruntled hinges.”

So instead I turned to wordle.net for a bit of word-cloud fun. Here are a couple of the automatically generated results:

I send out a big thanks to everyone who played. Interacting with you through this blog is among my most rewarding experiences as a writer. So thank you for reading—and for brightening so many of my days.


  1. Where has Wordle been all my life?! And how am I ever to get anything useful done ever again? This is just so, SO my perfect creative time-waster. Thank you (I think) so much for the pointer. I love the fun you had with turning our words into a story, and I am very proud to recognise my words of choice in there amongst the gang – even Hochmagandy made it in, I see! A thought: maybe you could make a cloud of everyone’s favourites, leaving out the nasties. It would be a great cheerer-upper on down days. (Or indeed you could make a cloud of nasties only, for musing on in particularly misanthropic moments…)

    • I’m always happy to help you waste your time, dancingbeastie! Isn’t Wordle *wonderful*? It’s heaps of fun — but it also doesn’t take very long. Unless you start plugging in Shakespeare sonnets and Tolkien quotes, as I did for a good full hour yesterday afternoon. 🙂 And point well taken about making a cloud of everyone’s favorites/nasties, tho that may have to wait until this evening. Anyway … here’s wishing you a lovely day.

      • OoOoooh, Tolkien quotes….mm, I have a neurologist’s appointment today and that could keep me happy for hours in the hospital waiting room…!
        Happy Tuesday to you. 🙂

  2. Happy to be of service! 🙂

    One of my favorites is “Not all those who wander are lost.” I quote it often when I’m at the wheel of a car. Ha.

  3. I was watching an episode of Criminal Minds last night and I remembered two words that I hate: criminology and unsub. Please tell me that they are not real words.

    • I was watching an episode of Criminal Minds last night and I remembered two words that I hate: victimology and unsub. Please tell me that they are not real words.

      • I can’t find them in my dictionary, so I’m happy to declare victimology and unsub null and void. (What’s an “unsub,” anyway?! I’m puzzled over that one.)

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