Monday, April 20, 2009

Annoying Words

I'm back, kinda-sorta, or at least I'm in enough of a lull that I can afford not to be my single-focused self for a bit. I've been editing and editing for the past few weeks--cutting here, adding there. And paying a lot of attention to words. Here are a few you will never see in my manuscripts:

derring-do
Technically, it means "brave and heroic feats," but it just sounds stupid, don't you think? Like something a cartoon character might perform. I don't even like it when it's used ironically.

signage
When did this even become a word? Why can't we just say "signs?"

kaffeeklatsch
Admittedly, I don't hear this often. But it's an ugly-sounding word, like someone hacking up a lung.

panties
It's a very "Lolita" word to me. Little-girly and sexual at the same time. No. Unless they are edible. Because "edible underpants" or "edible drawers*" just doesn't sound right. 


maverick
This word was fine until the last election,when McCain and Palin got all mavericky on us.

hubby
All right, I know I'll get some resistance on this one. It's used a lot and is meant to be an endearment. It just makes me think of my mother, who used it way too often. I also dislike "wifey" and "the little woman." 

retard
Yuck. It's just offensive.

douchebag
Oh, please, please can we retire this word? It so reminds me of a 70's teenager sitting on the hood of his El Camino smoking reefer*. I don't hear a lot of women saying, "Wow, she's such a douchebag." I wonder why that is.

I'm sure there are dozens, nay, hundreds, of other words out there that are just as irritating. "Nay" might be on your list. So, what are your personal words that grate?


*I don't really use these words. Much.



11 comments:

Janna Qualman said...

The only time I've ever appreciated "derring-do" was in The Incredibles, when FroZone's wife gave him an awesome talking to. Good times.

I need to add "ever-so-slightly" to the list, because I've been using it and it makes me cringe every time.

Travis Erwin said...

It's a saying and not a single word, but can we add can of whoop ass to this list?

Melanie Avila said...

Ha, this is funny. I also hate "hubby" yet I catch myself using it a lot. BUT, only online when it's easier to type that than "my husband."

"Panties" makes me cringe too. I only use it for comical reasons. :) (and not in my writing)

As for "signage", ugh. I heard that all the time in advertising, as I'm sure you do/did too.

DebraLSchubert said...

I think panties are cute! Of course, not as cute as my hubby, I mean husband, thinks they are.;-)

Seriously, I try to steer away from schmuck as much as possible. And "let's touch base." Hate that.

WendyCinNYC said...

Janna--"Derring do" works well with the Incredibles. But it's still annoying.

Travis--Sure. Open that can of whoop ass right up.

Melanie--What are you doing with those comical panties, pray tell?

Debra--I don't much like "schmuck" either.

jamiemason said...

Ha! I'm so with you on 'hubby' and 'kaffeeklatsch'.

I try very diligently to avoid using the grammatical 'had had' and I know there are other words I don't like, but I just can't think of any just now.

I'm on a fast and I'm adled.

ralfast said...

Underpants or underwear sounds a bit to formal. And if someone like me (a male) is writing for some reason about undergarments, especially female ones, I think it would have some sexual connotation (as required by the story, of course).

Of course if it is a blog post or something like that then underwear would be fine, I guess.

I mean the alternative would be to get technical and describe specific types of underwear, but that could cross the line into fetishism.

"Derring-do" sounds so 1920s movie serial I doubt I would use it unless within that setting or for sarcasm sake.

The rest I never used, except, perhaps for a laugh.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Minus 1, 6 & 7, these are some of my favorite words!! :)

Melanie Avila said...

Oh, I only say it as a joke!

lol! My wv is: emonew. I hate "emo" too.

bryngreenwood said...

Confession time: I use the word "douchebag" all the time, or simply "douche." Ah well, it's the 70s redneck in me.

As for "signage," it's of the same ilk as "utilize." Isn't the word just "use"?

auria cortes said...

For months I tried bringing "oh snap" back. No one followed my lead. Wonder why?