The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the English Language

I’m a fan of words…good ones that is.  Sometimes I will see a word written or hear a word spoken, and I’ll make a point of memorising it so that I can casually drop it into conversations (I’m cool like that).  It might be the way it sounds, the way it looks, or the imagery it evokes.  Then, there are those words that make me shudder.  Literally shudder with contempt, and wonder that anyone uses them at all.

Here is just a very small collection of the few words that I think could do with a bit more exposure, and those that, were they to crawl into a cave and die, would undoubtedly be doing the world a favour and likely improve the chances of world peace.

The good

Discombobulate – I wish I could use this word more often.  It just sounds, well, cool!

Magnanimous – This one makes me think of minions talking to their master.  And I do like minions.

Alohamora – I wave a wand in my head every time I say this aloud.

Skullduggery – Arrrrrrgh matey!

Racecar – ‘Cause everybody loves a good palindrome.

Gypsy – What’s this? No vowels!

Wednesday – Because I like how I sound it out in my head every time I write it.

The bad and the ugly

Chagrin – Twilight anyone? This word, sounds ugly, looks ugly…and what the hell does it mean?!

Moist – Last year it was concurred amongst friends (and some random people at the pub) that this is one of the ugliest sounding words, ever.

Grimace – Makes you want to do it as you say it.

Colonel – I sound somewhat challenged every time I stumble over this word when reading aloud.  I want to sound it out as it’s spelt…which apparently is not allowed.

Phlegm – Look at it!

Vacuum – Who’s idea was this, really?

Bookkeeper – Double letter overload.

I’m sure I’m not the only one having a love/hate relationship with the English language.  Are there any words that make you want to thank a supreme deity and sacrifice a virgin goat for the gift of language? Or those that similarly make you want to jump off a cliff so that your ears never have to bleed at the sound of them again?

~storytelling nomad~

19 comments on “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the English Language

  1. I completely agree on ‘moist’. It’s one of the words I have always hated the most. I’d have to also add ‘tender’ to the bad list.

    I actually have a list of my favourite words here:

    And a list of words/phrases I want to randomly start using here:

    How did you create the image in your blog? (I assume you created it, unless strangely enough all your loved and hated words were put there by somebody else!)

    • Spore, spore…spore (Not a word I ever use so I’m just trying it out). I think I could live with spore you know…although I agree it’s not the most beautiful word I’ve ever seen or heard.

  2. Hm, “moue,” “flagellate,” “prestidigitation” (even sounds like a magic incantation).

    And then there are the funnies: “dongle,” “tarradiddle,” “footle,” “kerfuffle.” But I think one must be drunk to appreciate these.

    I do not like the ones I can’t pronounce: “absquatulate” (I-quack…?), “schadenfreude,” “sisyphean” (sissy?).

    • I have no idea what 90% of those words even are! But I think dongle, tarradiddle, footle and kerffuffle could definitely benefit from extra usage!

  3. Love the wordle =)

    I’m a huge fan of ‘discombobulate’ though one of my favourite words that makes me giggle is ‘donkey’. Say in ten times then tell me you’re not laughing!

    I hate the word ‘panties’. *shudder* Seriously hate that word.

    Like you, I also sound out ‘Wednesday’ when I write it.

    • I’ve heard a few people who don’t like the word panties…I’m a repeat offender of using the word though :\ Perhaps it was my upbringing in the UK (‘panties’ and ‘knickers’ were pretty common usage)? Or, perhaps I’m just a weirdo.
      Also, I just said donkey aloud at my computer several times…my dog is giving me a strange look. Ha!

  4. Oh I love words, too! And I’m a big fan of discombobulate becoming more widely used~ :D

    Chagrin I don’t mind much, and I use gypsy quite a bit, actually~!

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