I was rather surprised today when, searching for sustenance on an overly long and dull coach journey, I opened up what was tag-lined as a ‘moist organic blueberry and oat bar’. Delicious as it was my surprise came from the fact that ‘moist’ is such a controversial word. You only need say it and, in my experience, you will be met by a host of shudders and ‘god I just hate that word?’, ‘Don’t you just hate that word,’ and everyone will nod and a group shake will pass around. In fact the only situation where moist seems to be an even vaguely sociably acceptable adverb is when talking about cake – ‘The cakes lovely and moist isn’t it Gladys?’ – but still there will be at least one person who can’t quite handle it and dives down into a moist ridden pit of despair. ‘Moist’ they groan, ‘not moist, say its dry for all I care but please for the love of all that is holy do not use the m-word.’

Moist

But what is it about the word? The snake like hiss? The unfortunate connotations with second rate erotica?  The very dampness it brings to mind? Who knows… For my part I quite like the word, in a weirdly cringey kind of way. I tend to like things that are a wee bit taboo, for no other reason than well they are such (yes, its a bad reason to like things but it probably won’t stop me). And it rolls off the tongue quite nicely. And of course, you get a little bit of satisfaction from being able to reduce a room to collective shudders quite nicely – awkward conversation, just drop the m-word and all will be well in the world.

Are you a moist-a-phobe (I’m sure there is a technical term, if you know it let me know)? Or are there any other words you particularly hate?

Ta-ra 

Hannah

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