Well, I’ve been saying it for years, and now it’s finally official – moist is the most disgusting word in English. Those of you who know me know that I have waged an on-stage vendetta against the word moist for years now, and it’s good to know I’m not alone. Check out these awesome statistics from a recently-published Slate article:
“In a survey of 75 Mississippi State University students from 2009, moist placed second only to vomit as the ugliest word in the English language. In a 2011 follow-up survey of 125 students, moist pulled into the ugly-word lead—vanquishing a greatest hits of gross that included phlegm, ooze, mucus, puke, scab, and pus. Meanwhile, there are 7,903 people on Facebook who like the “interest” known as “I Hate the Word Moist.” (More than 5,000 other Facebook users give the thumbs up to three different moist-hatred Facebook pages.)”
But the world needs balance. So today, I’m going to share with you a few words that are almost guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. If you start to feel angry or otherwise dissatisfied at any point in the next 825 years, simply say one of the following words and sweet, glorious, succulent happiness will be yours. Enjoy!
Muffin – easily the cutest food humans have ever invented, the word itself evokes a child-like exuberance that nothing can extinguish. Indeed, the word moist loses all of its power against the rampant positivity of muffin. Because if I tell you “Wow, this is a moist muffin!” it’s not going to bother you nearly as much as if I say “Wow, I’m really moist right now!” See? Muffin is awesome.
Bubble – this word is the linguistic equivalent of a field full of puppies. Everyone on the planet likes bubbles. If hostile aliens were to land here with the intention of exterminating the human race, we could probably make friends out of them simply by blowing bubbles in their direction. This word is exponentially more amazing if you repeat it rapidly. Bubble bubble bubble bubble bubble bubble…try it. I’ll bet you can’t say it ten times in a row without smiling. If you can, then you’re probably dead inside already.
Sphygmomanometer – bet you didn’t expect to see this one here. That’s the thing that takes your blood pressure – or, perhaps more accurately, it’s the meter that measures your sphygmomanos, which sounds way more doctory. But just try to get someone to say it, and it’ll make everyone in earshot feel delightful.
Lollygag – the best way to waste time ever. Can you even get upset at someone who says, “Sorry I’m late. I was just lollygagging and, well, time gets away from you during a good lollygag.”
Pumpkin – not only does this narrowly edge out kumquat as the best name for a food, it’s also undeniably the dumbest pet name you can use on someone. Pumpkins are fat, orange, asymmetrical, and quick to rot, just like your sweetheart!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this unexpected detour into a place of pure joy. In the event that my recent article about work-life imbalance ended up working, this should bring you back to a state of active bliss.
What are your favorite happy-sounding words?
Image from Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/marufish/5308492510/
Unhappy words: Sphincter, probe, ex-wife
My happy word: Cabbage (a cross between a cabin and a cottage or a verb for sneaking away as in “let’s cabbage away for the weekend at the cabbage”)
I do love bubbles. You can’t help but smile when you say it!