Books I Loathed discussion

Words I Loathed

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message 1: by Alex (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:57AM) (new)

Alex (alexinmadison) | 64 comments In the spirit of "Books I Loathed", I'd like to start a thread for specific sentences, metaphors, euphemisms, etc. that we loathe.

I will begin by picking up part of the Shameful Passions thread:

1. Tawny globes
2. Tumescent manhood
3. Mound of desire
and, my personal favorite...
4. Mons Venus

All from bad "romantic" or "erotic" writing.

message 2: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:57AM) (new)

Laura | 3 comments The SOFT CORE of her WOMANHOOD.

I'd rather read the C-word (which I hate, but not nearly as much as these cheesy phrases)

message 3: by Jessica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:57AM) (new)

Jessica Using "sex" as a replacement noun for genitals. It's very Anais Nin, very period, but it always jars me and takes me out of the story.

message 4: by Grumpus (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:58AM) (new)

Grumpus Along the lines of words I loathe, the C-word is my number one "cringe word".

message 5: by Vanessa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:58AM) (new)

Vanessa | 42 comments I can't claim to have read "The Lover" by Marguerite Duras, since I was so put off by the dreadful film adapted from it, but there was one terrible euphemism for penis in that film that I'm assuming was drawn straight from the book (since the narrator spoke it): "His golden column". This description made me imagine a little bust of Julius Caesar sitting atop it, like some weird sex toy.

message 6: by David (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:58AM) (new)

David (david_giltinan) | 58 comments People are never old in the world of Washington Irving. They are "stricken in years".

Did anyone ever really talk that way?

message 7: by Alex (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:58AM) (new)

Alex (alexinmadison) | 64 comments Oh dude. I don't ever want to feel like I've been "stricken" by aging. That's pathetic.

message 8: by Christen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Christen | 61 comments So funny this topic came up - I was just thinking of a phrase I loathe the other day! This will tell you a lot about me, but I really like H.P. Lovecraft. I like H.P. Lovecraft enough that I dared to pick up one of the moronic collections of what basically amounts to fanfics of Lovecraft's work (in other words, the lame authors who try to write in the style of Lovecraft and/or continue his stories).

So that the foreword of one of these awful collections, someone actually wrote, and I'm not even kidding.... "He was a man who truly loved his craft."


Ok I'm going to go drink some soda now and let you revel in how awful that is. Wow. Some people.

message 9: by Xysea (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Xysea  (xysea) Any description vulva as a flower is way too overworked and Georgia O'Keeffian for me.

I get it. It looks like a lily. Okay. Fine. Surely there are other things it looks like, too.

Throbbing anything.

And there's always something rough or rasping - chin stubble on a man, chapped hands or something that 'bruises the delicate tissues' of one
nether region or another...


message 10: by Christen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Christen | 61 comments Xysea..... oh sister you are just killing me! :D

message 11: by Kate (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Kate (katiebobus) | 136 comments Mod
LOL. Great thread! Jessica, I'm so with you on (his/her) "sex". "Member" and "manhood" also trouble me. But I find most erotica terribly unsexy.

Trying to think of some nonsexual ones..

In terms of research reports, which I read often for work, I despise the overuse of the word "utilize", which has a specific meaning (to use to maximum effectiveness). You don't sound smarter! Just say "used"!

When writers try to avoid the word "said" in their characters' dialogue. I know they teach you in elementary school to mix up your verbs, but even "replied" can sound forced if it's not exactly matching the tone of the conversation.

message 12: by Christen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Christen | 61 comments Ok Alex...since you were so candid with your misled revelation...I'll give you my all-time most embarassing mental mispronounciation. I had this mermaid book when I was like seven...and it kept using the word human... I thought it was humman... pronounced like hummus. I kept wondering what a humman was and why the mermaid was afraid of them.

ahhh seven year old Christen.... you dolt.

message 13: by Jessica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Jessica My parents STILL tease me for thinking, as a kid, that the name Buchanan was pronounced BUCK-uh-nan.

message 14: by Alex (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Alex (alexinmadison) | 64 comments And, I'll wager, that Seth prefers "Seth" to "Alex" which, in today's case, refers to a girl. :)

message 15: by Alex (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Alex (alexinmadison) | 64 comments Speaking of "utilize" versus "use"... I loathe all corporate speak. Oh! And the term "monies" instead of "money".

Also, I've really been having a hard time with colloquial use of words lately. For example, I say "he pled guilty" (past-tense of "plead") but have noticed that everyone on the t.v. and radio says "pleaded". For some reason, that really irks me.

message 16: by Christen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Christen | 61 comments LOL oops my bad. Sorry Seth.

There's really no excuse for seven year old Christen... the mermaid book had PICTURES of people and the mermaid swimming away from them.

Further down the road, I swore that the name Ian in Jurassic Park was pronounced eye-an. I was so annoyed by people who said Ian. And then I saw the movie. Ahem. I stand corrected.

message 17: by Xysea (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Xysea  (xysea) I loathe the word 'Irregardless.'

It is not a word. It is a mutant.

One of the funniest mispronounciation stories I heard was allegedly about Chris Noth (Mr Big, Sex and the City).

Apparently, he pronounced the word 'erudite' similar to crudité. Oh, the awfulness of it wafts back even now!

It's terrible, but I'm laughing now even as I type This one is such a prize winner that when my brother or I do something boneheaded we refer to it as 'erudité.'

message 18: by Alex (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Alex (alexinmadison) | 64 comments But Christen, aren't there some places where "Ian" is pronounced eye-an? I think there might be. You may not have to hang your head in shame. Well...maybe about that mermaid/human thing... LOL!!

message 19: by Alex (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Alex (alexinmadison) | 64 comments Xysea! I literally have tears coming out of my eyes right now! Oh lord. My co-workers think I've lost my mind.

Do you mind if I co-op that? I HAVE to start saying erudite'.

message 20: by Xysea (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Xysea  (xysea) Alex, it's yours for the asking. :D

message 21: by Xysea (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Xysea  (xysea) Aeschylus and Sian.

The first I pronounced 'eshellus' and the other 'cyan' until I was corrected.

But thank the Dear someone did! ;) lol

message 22: by Xysea (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Xysea  (xysea) I believe you are correct.

Though this jumped out at me in Wikipedia:

"In 490 BC, Aeschylus and his brother Cynegeirus..."

Cyne-whatsit? Geez. Were their parents having a competition?

message 23: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Laura | 3 comments I have never seen this in print, but I had a boyfriend who butchered the verb form of "Conversation".

See, he "conversated".

"I was conversating with this guy about _____"

I never wanted to be a Grammar Cop but finally I had to, I had to!

Know what he had the nerve to say? "At least I don't end sentences with prepositions." What did he go and say that for?

message 24: by Vanessa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Vanessa | 42 comments Other words I hate include:

Toothsome - this word just sounds so freakin' pretentious especially since I've never seen/heard it used by anyone but food snobs.

Societal - I never heard this word used before 1992 and while it may have been around for a zillion years it seemed so made up to me at the time (why not just use "social"?) that I've never been able to accept it as a real word.

Opine - I once read a line in a book (so bad that I don't rmember anyhting about it except it was a mystery) where the lead character is at a wine tasting, and upon sipping the new vintage says:
"Very mellifluous, I opine."
Need I say more?

Re. mispronunciations, a friend of mine years ago was trying to describe some fellow as "eloquent", but pronounced it "ellocunt".

And when I was in fourth grade, I remember looking through a book of knock-knock jokes with a friend and we stumbled upon this one:

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Euripides who?
Euripides pants you pay for them (You rip-a these pants you pay for them)

But we mispronounced the names of the Greek playwright so that the punch line was "Yuri peed these pants - you pay for them!" Which in hindsight still seems like a better punch line to me.

message 25: by Jessica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Jessica I like Sherri's use of toothsome and morsel, but otherwise, I am afraid I have to concur with Vanessa on that one.

message 26: by Vanessa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Vanessa | 42 comments But Sherri, whenever the food snobs use "toothsome" it always seems to refer to something crunchy - so I think you need to roll those Speedo-clad, chocolate-dipped lads in polenta or something.

message 27: by Xysea (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Xysea  (xysea) Hi Sarah.

It's more like Ex-Why-Sea. That's what I was going for... :)

message 28: by Jammies (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Jammies I can't stand the phrases "You have issues" or "What's your damage?" Blech!

And back to erotica for a moment, the only writing that should contain the word "rod" is writing about fishing, tyvm.

message 29: by David (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

David (david_giltinan) | 58 comments "synergize", "synergy", "utilize", "bandwidth"; but really, taking aim at corpspeak is like shooting fish in a barrel. When I worked in the corporate world, our division was once reorganized with the alleged goal of "leveraging our synergies" (I got into a wee bit of trouble for asking the vice-president who informed us of this, in a public meeting, how she was able to say that with a straight face).

Seth: I just guffawed and guffawed at your back-formation of "mizzle" from " misled. Something I did as well, though I pronounced it to rhyme with "reprisal". It didn't help that I came from the bizarre kind of family whose idea of fun was to seize upon my sister's and my mispronunciations of this kind and adopt them as if they were actually correct, thereby perpetuating our confusion almost indefinitely. As a result, I was almost sixteen before I finally learned that "epitome" was a four-syllable word. And don't even get me started on "synecdoche" (Sy-neck-dosh, anyone?)

message 30: by Christen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Christen | 61 comments The first time I heard this little Corporate speak I laughed out loud, thinking the person was making a joke. Sadly, the joke was on me, as I've heard this word many times since and it never fails to grate on me.....


What?!? What is a signage? Why add age to any word that didn't originally have it anyway? You're so lame, you Corporate lame-o's!!!

message 31: by Christen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

Christen | 61 comments Thanksage...AHHHH now you've got me doing it!

message 32: by Kate (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

Kate (katiebobus) | 136 comments Mod
This may be my favorite thread ever. Erudite!!

I think I was guilty of "MY - zled" at some point.

I have a vivid memory of reading a paragraph from a science text out loud in 5th grade and saying "SPONG-ee?" when I got to the word spongy. Then I blushed furiously because I knew the word; it had just suddenly seemed otherwordly.

I also remember reading Garfield comics and wondering what lassig-nyah was. And hors divours.

message 33: by Alex (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

Alex (alexinmadison) | 64 comments I like being a grammar/spelling/word cop. Frankly, if people think I'm a pretentious ass, they're probably right - at least when it comes to the English language. Even with the natural evolution of language, as I get older, I get less tolerant. Case in point: "a whole nother". AAAAAHHHHH!!!!! I can't believe that so many people use this regularly now - and think nothing of it. It's happening, "irregardless". LOL!!

message 34: by Xysea (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

Xysea  (xysea) "A whole nother" is a Southernism, isn't it? lol I hate that one, too.

And Alex, the world would be a better place if people would

(a) use a dictionary to look up words they don't know how to use or spell, and

(b) would proofread their stuff, so the grammar cops ¤ of the world (like us) wouldn't *have* to be pretentious asses and point out their mistakes.

It's not world peace, but it's a start. I know I'd generally feel more loving toward humanity if that happened. lol ;)

message 35: by David (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

David (david_giltinan) | 58 comments In her wonderful book "Ex Libris", Anne Fadiman has a great essay, called "Insert a Carrot", where she wittily examines the proofreading gene that afflicts her entire family. For instance, that the first 5 minutes in any restaurant are spent dissecting assorted typos on the menu. Since I have the same gene (typos leap off the page to assault my vision, even when the page in question is upside down, half way across someone else's desk), I could only identify, and laugh hysterically.

Anne Fadiman: a wonderful author I certainly would never take for granite.

message 36: by Xysea (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

Xysea  (xysea) Ah, David! You make me want to double-check and proofread all my posts from now on.

I say that in the best possible way! lol

Add to that, you're terribly punny! ;)

message 37: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

Rindis | 18 comments Ow, ow, ow. Wonderful thread!

I know there's been a number of words I've mangled over the years due to only seeing them in print, and there's probably ones I still mangle, since they haven't come up in conversation yet....

The most recent discovery is 'grognard' (French, 'gron-yar' - to grumble - used colloquially to mean "a person who plays wargames; wargamer"). With my lack of knowledge of French I'd been happily been mentally mispronouncing for years. It finally came up (with another grognard) about a month ago and I got corrected. About a week later, I caught a conversation on a gaming site about the word that came to the conclusion that if you're using in the original French sense, it should be pronounced as such, but if you're referring to a wargamer, it is properly mispronounced as 'grog-nard'.

Hermione was torture for me until the first movie came out....
Eustace gets honorable mention for me. (At least C. S. Lewis intimates that it rhymes with 'useless'... in the second book the character appears in.

Aloysius = Al-Oo-Ish-Us
...I hate it when I hear a word I've been wondering how to pronounce, and don't realize it.

Words too well loved: 'gellid' - not even a real word, but Thomas Harlan started using it (nicely) to talk about things that just aren't quite solid, and then fell in love with it and seriously overused his new word in his third book....

Oh, and Sherri, too much information.

But I do wish you luck in search of the Chocolate-covered Toothsome Morsel (imaginary or not) anyway.

message 38: by Kate (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

Kate (katiebobus) | 136 comments Mod
What about HEARTH??!!!

I totally love "a whole nother" and am pleased to note that it is being used in crappy teen movies.

I am a total grammar and spelling freak when it comes to formal (published nonfiction, posted or business) writing. I obsessively red-pen handouts and magazines. Nothing bugs me quite as much as when people use quotation marks seemingly as decoration.

However, I like to answer "How are you?" with "I'm good" as well as "Doing well" or "I'm fine," though it's not technically correct. It just feels appropriately warm and happy sometimes. And how you write in an instant message, a first draft, or casual correspondence doesn't bother me as long as you avoid certain things, like "irregardless", "utilize" and mistaking "less" to mean "fewer".

message 39: by Nate (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

Nate (innatejames) | 11 comments sluice.

I cringe when I read this word. And it doesn't help that its context usually involves slaughter.


message 40: by David (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

David (david_giltinan) | 58 comments I think an auto-da-fé might not be unmitigated fun for some of the participants. (Just saw one depicted on-screen while watching Ridley Scott's 1492 just yesterday, in fact, and had to look away).

message 41: by Xysea (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

Xysea  (xysea) Surfeit

It sounds so pompous. It also sounds like something you should be doing, instead of something used to describe an object or condition.

How does one pronounce McAnally? Let me give you a hint: Not the way I did, once.


lol ;)

message 42: by Alex (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

Alex (alexinmadison) | 64 comments Gainsay... wow. I don't think I've ever heard/read that word. I just looked it up and one would think that I would have come across it at some point in my life. Weird.

Is it particular to a time period or anything?

message 43: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

Laura (laurahogan) It's "disingenuous," actually, and I think it's a very fine word. It has a nuance that "not candid" lacks.

Also, "gainsay" doesn't mean what you seem to think it means.

message 44: by David (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

David (david_giltinan) | 58 comments I would rather die by self-immolation than lose such a fine, nuanced word as "disingenuous". I won't be gainsaid on this matter, either

message 45: by Jammies (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

Jammies Seth, I much prefer your definition of "spelunking." However, the verb for what you propose doing to meat is in fact "marinate," and "marinade" is a noun.

I loathe the use of nouns as verbs. Do not ask me if I am going to bath my dogs, or tell me that you theifed a bit of marinating steak to feed to them. I will feel compelled to immolate you.

message 46: by Christen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:01PM) (new)

Christen | 61 comments Defenestration. Best. Word. Ever.

message 47: by David (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:01PM) (new)

David (david_giltinan) | 58 comments Though, historically speaking, isn't it usually applied to residents of Prague, almost exclusively?

message 48: by Alex (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:01PM) (new)

Alex (alexinmadison) | 64 comments defenestration

1620, "the action of throwing out of a window," from L. fenestra "window." A word invented for one incident: the "Defenestration of Prague," May 21, 1618, when two Catholic deputies to the Bohemian national assembly and a secretary were tossed out the window (into a moat) of the castle of Hradshin by Protestant radicals. It marked the start of the Thirty Years War. Some linguists link fenestra with Gk. verb phainein "to show;" others see in it an Etruscan borrowing, based on the suffix -(s)tra, as in L. loan-words aplustre "the carved stern of a ship with its ornaments," genista "the plant broom," lanista "trainer of gladiators."

So, in answer to your question, the word originated with the incident in Prague but can now be applied to anything being thrown out a window.

message 49: by Conrad (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:01PM) (new)

Conrad | 9 comments Why say "use" when you can waste two more syllables of my time and say "utilize," a word so college-y that it almost makes stupid people sound smart?

message 50: by Kate (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:01PM) (new)

Kate (katiebobus) | 136 comments Mod
Seth! "Behooves" is freaking hysterical. I used to notch the frame of the chalkboard every time my homeroom teacher in high school said it. The ending tally was only like 3 for the semester, but that's STILL three more times than I've ever said it.

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