Probably not everybody suffers from Specific Word Phobia (SWP) (if anybody can come up with a pseudoclinical name for this, please do), but I’m guessing I’m not the only one, so I’m starting a new list.
What I’m looking for are words that horrify–not because of what they mean (rape, Akin, etc.) but just because of the way they look, lolling or crouching there on the page, the way they sound, insinuating in the ear. The ugly, icky word is physically repulsive. One is literally taken aback. One blinks, scowls; one’s mouth waters in an unpleasant way. One simply hates the word. One does not know why, nor does one care.
I’d be stunned if any universal truths emerge from this project. I have no purpose here beyond curiosity. I can’t be the only one with SWP. Or am I?
I’ll go first. Remember, the meaning of the word can be innocuous. Appearance is all. And just to clarify: These are words you hate to use and when forced to, you find the experience unpleasant. You probably grimace.
From Laura Preble:
From the Magic Hermit:
From Lynn Heilman:
From Lisa Roche:
From John Kornhauser:
From Billy Frolick:
From Karen Worley:
From Kathy Kulpa:
From Anne Baker:
From Elizabeth Carrera:
*I share “cremains.” It’s like “clamato.” Using it, one feels degraded.