Sunday, January 23, 2011

Terrible Terrible Words Lead To Being Thrown Out Of A Window

Writing a Blog exposes one mostly to the joys but sometimes to the trials of the English language. There are certain challenges that arise constantly though. For example, finding the exact word which conveys the core thought one wants to express whilst not repeating the same word twice in a sentence.

This word hunt exposes one to more words and expressions in the course of Blog work than is usual and it is not without its hazards. Who knew Blogging could be so hazardous?

Every person is different of course and words that annoy one will have no effect on another, or they could find them positively lovely to the ear. To them they flow, as Hamlet advised his visiting troupe of actors, "trippingly off the tongue". However, to me the following words grate terribly to my ear, and trip over themselves off the tongue.

DEFENESTRATION; defined as "A throwing of a person out of a window". This word is not hard to pronounce and doesn't have a harsh sound, but it annoys me greatly. It is, frankly, a stupid word created, who knows why, for a ridiculous phrase. It is simpler, surely, to say "They threw him out of the window" rather than, and less pretentiously, "He was killed in an act of defenestration." Defenestration should be defenestrated.

EXECRABLE; (Detestable) "Exeek" grates but actually by itself it's not too bad, but somehow, adding "crabble" to it makes it ugly. Oddly, "Exec" as in executive sounds fine I think.

EXECRABLENESS; (the noun) is pushing it a bit too far though. It is in fact execrable.

OBLOQUY; (Abusive language) A horrible word-on the tongue, in the ear, too look at and to pronounce. Away with it forthwith.

HIRSUTE; (Excessive hairiness). An odd looking word which generally is used satirically. But the real object of satire is the oh so clever "satirist" using it instead of simply saying "hairy".

PEREMPTORILY; (Putting an end to all debate). Just annoying to use in common discussion-away with it also.

PHENOMENON; Said to be the most commonly wrongly spelled word. I always have to correct it after using spell checker when I type "phenomanon" (as I suspect most do too). Perhaps we should just change the spelling and be done with it?

GOODGE; This is not a word, rather it is the name of a tube/subway stop on the Northern Line in London. I hated seeing it every morning on the way to work. It is ugly and should be changed-I must write to London Transport and tell them how I have been scarred for life by this combination of letters,


Apart from this series of words, and a number of others which don't come to mind straight away- a classic case of repression, there are a number of phrases and words which also are execrable and should be banished to the outer darkness e.g.;

PHENOMENOLOGY; Whenever I see this word, particularly when followed by "of", and, even more scarily, when my eye catches "Exposition" “Jacques Derrida" "deconstruction" I quickly turn away as total befuddlement and boredom ensues if reading of deliberate obfuscation continues.

EXISTENTIAL ( I am still looking for a simple, clear and definitive definition of this word) CRISIS/COGNITIVE DISSONANCE/TRIANGULATION.
All three have had well more than their fifteen minutes and should depart quietly into the night.

As I said, these are simply my personal hates-amongst so much joy-. Readers are invited to list theirs in the comments section so that I, and others, can know what best to avoid in our mutual quest for the bon mot.

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