5 Words I Can’t Stand….

1. Enjoy!

Used in that American way, which has now crept into English-English and is very annoying! It needs something after it – ‘enjoy your meal!’ or ‘enjoy yourselves!’ I know I have (very occasionally) used it in this blog but believe me, I was being ironic!

2. Genre

I have to use this word with my classes when we talk about different ‘genres’ (crime, literary, romance, you know the kind of thing). It’s one of those words that are really hard to pronounce. If you say it the French way (because it is, after all, a French word) you sound really pretentious but say it in a really English accent and it sounds naff! (‘GEN-RER’!) Aaah. But there’s no getting around it! What other word can one use?!

3. Tousled

There’s a Herbal Essences advert on TV at the moment, promoting this purple shampoo that makes your hair ‘tousled’ (all kind of messy, if you ask me). I’ve nothing against the product – it’s just that word and how it’s pronounced. (TOW – as in ‘TOWIE’ – sulled) It gives me the heebie-jeebies (like tearing cotton wool!). Is it just me?!

4. Anyway

Since my ‘friend’ pointed out that I use it all the time, I feel really self-conscious when it pops out! (all the time). But I can’t stop saying it…!

5. Slough

No, not the town where The Office was set, but to rhyme with ‘rough’ and as in (like a snake) ‘slough off one’s skin’. Ugh – it’s such a horrible word! It was in a prize-winning (and otherwise very good) love poem that I read with my classes recently and it’s another word that gives me the creeps.

Anyone agree with me – or have you got any other words that you can’t stand….?

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to 5 Words I Can’t Stand….

  1. Bernadette says:

    It’s globule for me.
    No idea why – just sounds all greasy and horrible!

    And I also hate slough.

  2. Helen M Smith says:

    Hi Helen, my pet hates are to do with grammar – especially the way people seem to think “should of” (instead of should have) is correct and also the copious use of apostrophes when they are not needed! My husband thinks I am obsessed with this but I think that if people use these often enough they will become accepted!

    best wishes,

  3. limebirdbeth says:

    Uh oh… I do ‘enjoy’… oops.

  4. Hi Helen, I don’t like the modern speak, like for instance, when people say, ‘enjoyed spending time wicha. It should be with you. I’m old fashioned I know, but someone has to be, so that’s me.

  5. Kat says:

    I loathe the word utilize. It is pretentious when ‘use’ will do nicely.

  6. Colette McCormick says:

    I can’t stand it when someone says
    a) “they turn such and such age” – no they just are. A person turns the page in a book or a corner but not an age.
    b) “they/it reached a crecendo” – surely you reach a climax – the crecendo is the but leading up to it.
    I feel better for getting that off my chest – thanks.

  7. Sandra says:

    I see ‘would of’ so often that I’m terrified of subconsciously assimilating it into my everyday use. And I hate ‘bored of’. Surely it’s ‘bored with’? But my real aversion is ‘random’. I listened to a Radio 2 presenter using it at least 50 times during a Saturday afternoon programme recently, and it’s definitely the ‘in’ word at the moment, being used in ways I’ve never dreamed of using it. “Hey that’s really random,” I heard someone say. Huh?

  8. Julia says:

    I hate ‘looking to’, as in: ‘We are looking to appoint a new IT manager.’ I’m even sure that it’s incorrect; I just makes my skin crawl.

  9. JohnY says:

    Enjoy is a word I quite like when used sincerely and in the right context.
    Genre a little O T T so I prefer to use “Category of”.
    Tousled not a word I have ever used but has led me to find out “frowzled” in disambiguation
    and dishevelled, rumpled, untidy, all descriptions of me by my wife.
    Anyway,, such an impolite word, my preference is “Nontheless”
    Slough the “Moulting” meaning and pronunciation is fine and I have to agree with Betjeman on
    “friendly bombing” might improve the place.

  10. Tracy Fells says:

    Hmm just shows someone’s pet hate is another’s joy… I personally love the word ‘tousled’. Top tip is never write into a story/article a word you can’t pronounce. I have real problems with remuneration and always want to say (and frequently do) renumeration, which logically sounds correct.

  11. Hi Helen

    Not sure about “anyway” – I use it to change the subject of the conversation, so perhaps my husband hates it. My pet hate right now is “very”, as in “very much enjoyed”, “very house where he was born”, “very being” – enough with it already. It seems to spread like a weed, I first noticed it a couple of years ago and since then I keep coming accross it. It has been particularly annoying the last couple of weeks, so thank you for letting me share.

  12. Lucy says:

    My pet hates are ‘like’ thrown in everywhere (‘it was like 30 degrees outside’) and ‘amalgamate’, which sounds to me like a reptile. I also can’t stand ‘diarise’. I’m definitely guilty of ‘enjoy!’, though. Oops!

    • Yes, Lucy, I’m not keen on ‘like’ everywhere! (that’s an American-ism again, I think, isn’t it?). Seems there are lots of words and expressions that niggle or annoy us all! Keep ’em coming – it’s therapeutic!

  13. Prue says:

    Enjoy I can cope with. ‘Anyway’ in our household signals a wish to change the subject of the conversation.
    My pet hate at the moment is ‘comprised of’ and ‘myriad of’ which seem to be everywhere. It’s certain phrases that really get to me. ‘I’ll give you a bell’ gives me the pip, as do corporate-originated phrases like ‘run it up the flagpole and see who salutes,’ and ‘make sure we’re all singing from the same hymn sheet’. Ugh.

  14. Keith Havers says:

    I agree with the gripes about ‘should of’ etc.
    My hated word is ‘bling’.

  15. Maggie May says:

    My pet hate is the use of sat when sitting is correct. I hear it all the time by everyone and it’s driving me up the wall! I think style sounds much better than genre, and much easier to pronounce.

  16. I don’t like genre when the word is used in the phrase ‘genre fiction’ and said in a sniffy way as though the writers just copied each other’s stories changing little more than the character names. All fiction is genre fiction isn’t it, even if the genre is ‘way over my head poncily literary’?

    • Yes, I agree, Patsy. I don’t use ‘genre’ fiction in a snooty way – it’s merely to describe different kinds of writing (which is, after all, the way publishers and booksellers classify and group books). One of the genres we discuss is ‘literary fiction’ (and that opens up quite a debate, as you can imagine!). I try to encourage my students to read – and write – outside their usual preferred genres. eg: to try writing a crime short story if they’ve never done that before or to read some fantasy or science fiction before they dismiss it all as ‘rubbish’!



  17. Jane carmedy says:

    I hate all of the above plus ‘basically’. Even primary school kids are using this one presumably because they think as it’s a big word it sounds good but it’s very tiring listening to : Have you done your homework ? Well basically, Yes.. Where are you going on holiday? Well basically we’re going camping etc bloody etc

  18. Alice says:

    The word ‘literally’ seems to be very trendy at the moment and is often used in relation to things that are clearly not literal! It seems to be mainly about creating emphasis now…

    I get annoyed when I hear people saying things like ‘I’m literally dying!”

    Hmmm….I don’t think so!

    I agree about random, basically and saying ‘sat’ when it should be ‘sitting’!

  19. womagwriter says:

    Great discussion – we all have our pet hates! I like tousled so am not with you there, Helen. I tend to pronounce it ‘tussled’ though. Am probably wrong.

    Basically and literally annoy me. And my mum’s use of her made-up word, ‘enerate’ which is a corruption of ‘at any rate’ and is used to move her story along or fill in gaps in the conversation. As a child I thought it was a real word and used it myself for years.

    Slough is indeed a horrid word. Fashion mags use it in beauty-regime articles.

    • Hmm, you’ve got me thinking now. I think ‘tow-sulled’ must be an American way of saying it but they do say it on the Herbal Essences advert (in an English accent) and it’s HORRIBLE! I like your mum’s ‘enerate’ – you could use that in a story! (If you haven’t already..!)



  20. Debbie W says:

    “Amazing” grates on me.

    Why can’t people use another word to describe an enjoyable activitiy, event or whatever?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s