I-495 Closure Update




Words you just want banned from the English language
By Amy Cherry

Updated Monday, April 1, 2013 - 7:45pm

Graphic courtesy of Google
Do you have a word that when you hear it, you just want to curl up in utter disgust? If so, you're not alone.

WDEL's Amy Cherry explains.

Click here to listen



They're called word aversions. Mine is for the word.

"Moist."

Click here to listen



Ugh I cringe when I hear it, and apparently so do at least three-thousand others, who've started a Facebook page for their hatred of the "M" word.

"You might think it vokes some kind of unpleasant or disgusting situations," says Mark Liberman, a linguistics professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Click here to listen



It does just that, and so do other words--Liberman says like...

"Slurp or pulp that are similar to that."

Click here to listen



But some of the other words that make people cringe and curl up in disgust may surprise you.

"There are some people who are completely weirded out by words like hardscrabble or pugilist or kidnap or cornucopia," says Liberman.

Click here to listen



What explains it? Is it like a phobia or a pop culture phenomenon?

"It's not a phobia in the sense that the emotion that's evoked is not fear, but it's like a phobia in that it appears to be irrational," explains Liberman.

Click here to listen



Liberman wants to know what the physiological reactions to people averse to the "M" word are really like.

"Do you see the same reaction you would see if you showed them a picture of somebody eating a word or something else that they would find disgusting?" he asks.

Click here to listen



Liberman says society has no idea how much of the population has these intense feelings of hatred for certain words, but he calls it "fairly common."

To read more on word aversions, click here.



Copyright © Jul 29, 2014, WDEL/Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




WDEL News Tools:
Printer friendly version
Back to homepage



 Latest News

 Follow Us

Facebook Twitter
RSS Mobile
Email Updates




Copyright © 2014, Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.   Terms of Use.
WDEL Statement of Equal Employment Opportunity and Outreach