What words really honk you off? Words that are used out-of-context that make you want to scream. Or words for their very own weird, unknown reason, get under your skin? Or maybe, they’re made up words adored by the masses that just steam your buns…
Following are a few of my least favourite miscreant words:
Oh boy. Isn’t everything these days a bespoke masterpiece? When I first heard this one being bandied about (and I’m wondering if it was Dragon’s Den or Grand Designs that started this in popular vernacular), I wondered, what the hell is bespoke?
On looking it up, I found out it’s a fancy-ass way of saying ‘built just for you’. This bespoke chandelier has been custom designed and built, just for your house. Those bespoke spectacles are molded for your face alone. That bespoke online doll company makes dolls according to dimensions and graphics you send to them. Get it?
So why the hate for bespoke. Well, largely because it’s become so overused. Every Goddamn thing is bespoke these days! I have literally seen an advertisement for bespoke cereal. Bespoke cereal?!
Seriously, turn on any DIY show and I guarantee you in five minutes you’ll hear bespoke… and shiplap.
“This product is so addicting!”
“I love chocolate, it’s addicting.”
Uh, do you mean it’s addictive? Damn this one frustrates me.
Okay, so addicting is technically allowed in those examples above, but boy it sounds wrong! Here’s why, courtesy of Grammarist:
Addictive means causing or tending to cause addiction. The present-participle adjective addicting is technically synonymous with addictive, but there’s no reason to use addicting when addictive is a perfectly functional and even versatile word. The trend is to use addicting in reference to nonaddictive things that engender repeated indulgence (e.g., a great television show or a video game), but there’s no reason addictive can’t fill this role.
The use of addicting in place of addictive is a common peeve among people who care about these things, but it isn’t an error, and no doubt there are many readers who have no problem with it.
Yeah, well I do have a problem with it. It just sounds wrong to my poor ears and makes my brain bleed. Please, don’t do it.
Now, I’m not sure if this is just an Australian thing, so stay with me if you’ve never heard the term ‘glamping’ before. Apparently, it’s a delightful cross-breed of ‘glamour’ and ‘camping’.
Delightful my eye.
First, there’s the meaning behind the word; glamourous camping. Ugh, my skin crawls. Take the worst thing imaginable – camping – then add some schmaltz and glitter and you’ve got the worst thing imaginable wrapped up in a satin bow.
Then there’s the word itself. Glamping. It feels like it crawled down into my glottal stop and got lodged there. Just, nope.
Ah, guesstimate. The triple threat. Not only is this word irritating as hell, and a bastard cross-breed… it’s not even a real word! Yet this abomination has become so commonplace, it’s now spoken (and written) everywhere.
Guesstimate, the unnecessary crossover of ‘guess’ and ‘estimate’, which means to guess… or to estimate… well, to have a pretty good stab at something. Which is what I want to do when I hear people using guesstimate.
This is not only not a good word, it’s not a word. Stop using it. Please.
Got any particular words or phrases that really annoy you? Share in the comments!