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Anorak | This is why we hate the word ‘moist’

This is why we hate the word ‘moist’

by | 25th, June 2017

Words I do like and words I don’t like are many. I like “twat”, “spoon”, “bingo”, “slash”, “bins” (when referring to spectacles) and “pastry”. I don’t like “schedule” when it’s pronounced with the hard Americanised ‘k’, “cockwomble” and “moist”. On the last prejudice I’m no alone. In 2012, The New Yorker asked readers to nominate a word to remove from the English language. ‘Moist’ was the clear winner. Not that any words should be censured, of course. Better we make up better ones and recognise the hatred and loading when saying things are ‘moist’. (This might explain the furore over Dapper Laughs, the British comedian who aimed to teach losers how to “moisturise” women – get ’em “proper moist”. Dapper wasn’t nuanced enough to be in on his own joke; his act was not based on self-deprecation. But the use of “moist” in any catchphrase gave him limited appeal and shelf-life. Generally, in my experience, men who use the word “moist” have something to hide and would make a decent case study for any budding psychotherapist.)

Also, our dislike of “moist” might be down to what the word does to our faces:

A separate possible explanation not tested in the current studies, but which the author acknowledges, is rooted in the facial feedback hypothesis. This hypothesis suggests that facial movement can influence emotional experience. In other words, if facial muscles are forced to configure in ways that match particular emotional expressions, then that may be enough to actually elicit the experience of the emotion. On this explanation, saying the word “moist” might require the activation of facial muscles involved in the prototypical disgust expression, and therefore trigger the experience of the emotion. This could explain the visceral response of “yuck” people get when they think of the word. Separate research has identified the particular facial muscles involved in the experience and expression of disgust, but no research as of yet has tested whether the same muscles are required when saying “moist.”

There might be something worse than moist. Something could be ‘like, moist’. Or, perish the thought, “M.O.I.S.T”, the word spelled out to give it added repulsion.



Posted: 25th, June 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True Comment | TrackBack | Permalink