Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Words are funny things, aren't they? I mean... literally that's true... I love a good word joke... but there is also sort of an enigma factor. I mean REALLY, all they are is a series of letters... sounds... and we give them meaning. They hold individual meaning, and they can be put in a sentence that either reinforces or CHANGES the meaning.

I had a couple word thoughts recently...

We'll start with my Twin Leslie. She said she needed words yesterday...

from Little Britain
Being me... I gave her some: Cacophony. Moist. Kerfuffle.

IMMEDIATELY there were protests. Words sitting by themselves and two of these words people love and one they hate. They wanted me to banish it. I bet you know which it is. I bet you hate it a little, too.

Poor, sad Moist.

What IS THAT that makes a word with no context so repugnant? I mean I understand words with horrible connotations... racial slurs are abhorrent. (any in-group/out-group division, really).

But what did moist ever do to anybody besides communicate that the cake was superior? And how is that bad?

Still, I know people I can say it to who physically shiver in response.

This pleases me. I do have my moments of evil.

I would totally call this mauve
One of my FB friends recently asked about puce... why it was underused... This made me giggle. There was a fair few of us with a wrong impression of what color this actually is, strictly because of the name... it just is too close to puke (aka: an unpleasant shade of greenish brown).

And of course my buddy Stacy challenged us to pick a word... any word... and repeat it about 500 times... you will barely make about the thirtieth repetition before said word no longer sounds like an actual word, but gibberish (which is harder to speak than Dumbledore would lead you to believe--but worse than speaking it, is understanding it.)

sex and violence source
And then we get to the lecture by Hugh Laurie on Sex and Violence.

[this image has so much wrong it is almost right again, eh? Maybe it's just me... normally I don't condone chainsaws.  I think the fishnets save it. You might have to magnify it to see them...]

Why is it we can say the following in polite company: war, torture, kill, murder, assault, pummel.

But the word for human coupling, the most intimate act we have, we refer to as the 'f-word'?

We really are a very odd batch of people.

I'd wish you all a moist Wednesday, but I am a little worried about being on the receiving end of a curse...


Old Kitty said...

I love moist. The moist-er the better! Moist rocks! Moist is sort of not quite there but just add a tiny bit of water, thank you very much.

NAKED is a nice word too.

Now as for copulate.... ! Take care

Trisha said...

Hehe, I am one of those who associates the word 'moist' with things other than yummy cake, so yeah I guess I'm one who objects to it. :P

I got a comment from a friend once, after I'd quoted the following:

…and there encountered with him all at once Sir Bors, Sir Ector, and Sir Lionel, and they three smote him at once with their spears, and with force of themselves they smote Sir Lancelot’s horse reverse to the earth. And by misfortune Sir Bors smote Sir Lancelot through the shield into the side… – Malory, p.419.

Anyway, that friend said, "What ever happened to smote? How could such a daft word just disappear from English? I feel a campaign coming on."

Hart Johnson said...

Jenny-YAY for moist advocates!

Trisha-YES! Smote is a GREAT word! And how DID it disappear? *giggles*

Anne Gallagher said...

It is rather moist here today. Rainy, foggy, damp, chilly. All solid words.

It's true though, what word works for some, is another's toilet bowl.

Ciara said...

Okay, that pic is just disturbing on so many levels. :) It is funny how innocent words now days have such different meanings in every day language.

L.G.Smith said...

Oh, as soon as I read puce I had a bad reaction. Not my favorite word. Had a similar bad reaction to that last photo, too. :P

Kerfuffle is such an excellent expression. I vow to use it three times in conversation today.

vic caswell (aspiring-x) said...

i think it's all about the conotation. like moist- i never had a problem with it. i kinda think of an overcast day or sand on a beach- but i know them who think of sweaty hidden areas of the human anatomy, and stinkiness and uncleanliness in general.

and fuck. fuck is a harsh word. it's a debasing word to me. it is the act of joining two people together without any of the emotions. to fuck (as per my conotation of the word) is this base, animalistic act. like (was it?) NIN who said, "i wanna fuck you like an animal, i wann feel you from the inside." those lyrics are not romantic at all- they are kind of like that picture, primal and detatched and twisted and cold. heartless, violent, almost psychopatic (am i using that word right? i swear sarah fine has taught me the difference but it just doesn't stick in my mind!)

i think connotation is key when finding certain words abrasive. but then there are also words who's arrangement of letters just SOUND stupid and annoying to me.

in keeping with the theme of my babbling, let's so with sex. say it outloud five times, it nearly always sounds like you have a lisp when you say it. the tongue is all sloppy and there is no melodic quality to that word. it is nearly impossible to sound sexy when saying the word sex. it is almost a comical word.
i don't know. i think i'm done babbling here. not sure i really had a point. but you're right, words are weird! how come we don't all just sign?

Stephen Tremp said...

Its a free country. If someone feels so inspired to say something, say it, run it up a flagpole, and see if anyone salutes.

Michael Offutt said...

English is a crude language really. I prefer Japanese for it's artistic beauty. For example: the word Nihon which is the Romaji spelling of Japan literally means "Sun origin". The Kanji for this is absolutely beautiful suggesting a picture of the actual sun and an open spread book which is how they chose to picture origin. No where in there is the clumsiness of "moist" and "puce". It is elegant and with two characters you understand that it is both a name and calls the country, "Land of the rising sun".

Hart Johnson said...

Anne-it was moist in Oregon a lot this time of year. In Michigan it is more a summer thing.

Ciara *teehee* yeah, pretty much. Something to offend everybody.

LG *giggles* Sorry about that. teehee

Vic-ramble away, my friend! I guess fu*k is a word I sort of like--I like it's diversity. I use it, but nearly never for the sex act--it's more often an intentional defiance (in my YA stuff)--I like words that have power like that. I think moist is troubled by that same thing you noticed for sex. You just can't say it with dignity.

Stephen-I try to look for who's around, but yeah, I like words.

Hart Johnson said...

Michael-I would agree that a lot of languages are prettier than English. The only language I know pretty well is Spanish, but listening, you can definitely hear the beauty and musicality of a lot of them. I still like words though, clumsy as they are.

Johanna Garth said...

I've given a lot of thought to the F-word lately since I've been required to define it for Child #1.
Finally decided that it denotes violence, which is why we use it as a curse word.

Christopher Allen said...

I love the words that jump out at me from nowhere. I was having such trouble writing today, and I was putting down my backpack to start class, words came. I love words. The RIGHT words.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The F-word is harsh and I'd have to agree with Vicki and Johanna's thoughts on it. Besides, making love just sounds so much better.

Jan Morrison said...

my best pal and I give each other words.
as presents.
I hate the word 'snack' but love the word 'flibberdeegibbet'or however it is spelled. I also love 'verandah', 'meander', and 'lush'.
bye now.
oh, here is a word for you, dear person - bedazzling!

Elizabeth said...

I like you beach saying. :)



Carolina Valdez Miller said...

I do believe that's the first time anyone's ever wished me a moist Wednesday. This day will go down in history.

And that picture I shall never forget. (No matter how hard I try) Mostly because that poor guy needs a few lessons about how to stand in stilettos. Not like that, Sir. Not like that.

Donna Hole said...

Well, I really was looking forward to a "moist" Wednesday. The clouds were there, the air was the right amount of chilly. Maybe too much chilly, cuz we got no rain.

My car needs a shower, my roses need some watering, the grass begs for a drink. Nothing like a bit of moist air to satisfy all my guilty pleasures.

That guy with the chain saw though; uh, not the kind of moist I can get into. No.

But, I've been known to enjoy some erotica, even some outright porn; and it just doesn't work without the moist effect. I like it a little more than moist for these venues - juicy is more my thing . .

I'm not much of a cook - my kids and ex husby are always complaining the meat is not "moist" enough. I guess I overcook it.

Well, can't please everyone; huh?


Cold As Heaven said...

In some situations I prefer moist before dry >:)

Cold As Heaven