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What word or phrase bothers you the most?

Written By: daveski on October 10, 2009 3 Comments

I noticed that Language Log recently had a post reporting on the results of the Marist Poll’s question, “What word or phrase bothers you the most?” And, noting the fact that they noted the fact that this was a multiple-choice poll (all in English of course) with all five options pre-selected, and the fact that there was only a pool of 900-something people selected to represent the whole of the United States, I thought it would be fun to add a few more open response answers to the fray.


What word or phrase bothers you the most?



Oh, and by the way, if you want to save yourself some Googling, here’s a list of “Least Favorite Words” from eloquentmusic on Wordie, and a similar question posed on Yahoo! Answers.

Feel free to teach us all a bit about your other language(s) too and write in or about words in another language!

Looking forward to some, er, annoyed responses…

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3 Responses to “What word or phrase bothers you the most?”

  1. Doug on: 10 October 2009 at 12:32 pm


  2. Usree Bhattacharya on: 10 October 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Here’s a list of ENGLISH words that annoy me (can’t contain myself to just one): maverick, “ecology,” socialist (depending on the speaker), “war on terror,” “native speaker”+”non-native speaker,” “pwned” (never sure how to pronounce it!), “Asian” (when it’s used to describe only parts of Asia), “literate”/”illiterate”, “West,” “civilized,” British “chips” (for fries), “truth” (is there any such thing?), “homely,” “outraging the modesty of a woman” (which is how legally, until recently, rape was defined in India). More, but I’ll have to come back to it. 🙂

  3. daveski on: 12 October 2009 at 11:52 am

    It’s interesting to me that these words look like they’re all tied to contexts of use and not the sounds of a language per se. When I think about my favorite and least favorite words in languages OTHER than English, I often associate those feelings with the actual sound of the word. Soft sounds, harsh sounds etc. But in English (or whatever language/s are strongest for that person) it’s about the connotations, the memories associated with the word.

    Why is “scrumptious” so annoying, Doug? And Usree, I’m curious about “chips”… 🙂

    (and funny nobody’s mentioned the Marist Poll’s “overwhelming” finding! surprised

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