Cringeworthy Words

In a past Monday Medley, we linked to a list of the most beautiful words in the English language. Tyler Cowen lists the words that make him wince based on this article:

“Some contenders:noah_webster_dictionary_1828_small

pulchritude
chillax
hubby
no-brainer
webinar
staycation
any word starting with “mommy”

What can you add to this list?”


I strongly believe that “chillax,” “hubby,” and “staycation” merit a place on this list.  Interestingly, unlike beautiful words list, this list seems to account for meaning and usage too. “Pulchritude” actually sounds pretty bad and ought to sound better, especially given its meaning. However, “hubby”, for instance, often reflects something negative about the person who uses it rather than actually sounding bad. Without further ado, my additions (some of which I think actually sound bad, some of which are used in ways I dislike) with some commentary:

-filmic (…and basically any “in” word for postmodernists)
-drawer (especially when you have a moderate New York accent, this word is VERY difficult to say)
-tummy (cutesy words tend to be annoying)
-preggers (seriously?)
-irregardless (it makes little sense and sounds odd)
-interwebs (this isn’t funny)
-blog (I know. I know. Still, I wish this were called something different. Web log sounds okay, but blog sounds awful)

Any additions?

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Dan on July 13, 2009 at 9:47 PM

    i get called out for drawer all the time … but i don’t think the work is bad, rather, the accepted prenunciation should be the same as “draw”

    Reply

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