Judy’s “Prompt Answers” Challenge #1: Dastardly Words.

Dastardly Words

Because it is a rainy rainy day and too wet, even, to make my way down to my studio, I’m going to recruit your efforts in trying to keep me busy and out of trouble. With this in mind, I’m posting a challenge for you to tell me the word you hate most in the English language. (This challenge was prompted by Helen Miekle’s absolute refusal to answer this question.  To console myself, I’m calling upon friendly bloggers to show me theirs if I show them mine.)  Not really fair, as if you’ve followed me for awhile, you already know that the word I hate most in the world is . . .. Nope, can’t say it.  Instead, I’ll reblog this poem I wrote about it a few years ago:

img_2272This is!!!!

Empty Praise

There was a time when awesome really meant ”inspiring awe”—
events like the moon landing that made one drop one’s jaw,
sights of numbing beauty or achievements of great skill,
art pieces by the masters or achievements of great will.

Yosemite is awesome and so is Everest.
Those climbing it are awesome.You know they are the best.
But today the word has fallen into widespread use—
ubiquitous right to the point where it’s become abuse.

Rap music is most awesome, as is that way-cool blouse.
You drive an awesome car and live inside an awesome house.
My friend’s boyfriend is awesome. So are her dog and cat.
Her garden blooms are awesome, like her new purse and her hat.

You might have guessed by now that awesome’s not my favorite word.
I think the overuse of it is frankly quite absurd.
This pizza is not awesome, though you may find me petty
for saying it is merely good, and so is the spaghetti.

Your child is lovely, so’s your dress, your silverware and smile.
But none of them are awesome—that word brings up my bile.
Please use some other word for it—some adjectival jaw full.
Because in my opinion, using awesome’s simply awful!!


img_6979This isn’t!!!!

So now that I’ve told you mine, please participate in this challenge in one of two ways. Either post your answer in your own blog with a link to this post and a link to your blog in my comments section, or simply answer in the comments section of this blog posting. It won’t take long, so please participate and if I receive enough words, I promise to make a poem out of them.

Update: I’ve written the poem! You can see it HERE.

37 thoughts on “Judy’s “Prompt Answers” Challenge #1: Dastardly Words.

  1. Cee Neuner

    Awesome is a word I try not to over use. I will try and awe-inspiring instead. The words I don’t like is “hate”. I think hate is over used. I may dislike a lot of things and maybe not like a person. But to use the word “hate” to me brings up extreme emotion and there really isn’t much that should trigger those emotions … at least in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. slmret

    I agree about the word ‘awesome,’ although that sunset really does qualify!!! I think that the “f-word” (in all its iterations) has crept in to the language and is overused to an extent that it has become meaningless.


  3. Anton Wills-Eve


    Since your challenge is so obviously awesome I’ll compete.
    I mean, you really must admit your idea’s a cracker, truly great.
    Thus believe me I can’t abide the one thing I never do to others,
    I don’t say, or feel or use the worst of ail words – I HATE HATE!

    fun,tnx Anton

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Marilyn Armstrong

    For us, it isn’t individual words. It’s expressions. For Garry, there are two: “Back in the day” and “senseless violence.” “Back in the day” because it’s so very over-used … and “senseless violence” because what other kind IS there? Sensible violence?

    I just hate words that express hate. Also, misused words. Bad grammar. I have a particular bug up my ass about “less vs. fewer” because it’s not that hard to use the words correctly. I know. I’m beating a dead horse. Maybe a whole team of horses.


      1. lifelessons Post author

        I don’t think I’ve ever used that one, at least. But I do say nice, cute, cool–all of which different people have listed as their main teeth-gritters. My Canadian friends were the first to point out that I habitually say, “I know it!” when I’m agreeing with something they say. I never knew that before but I catch myself doing so now–always after the act.


  5. Pingback: Funny about those words. …? – Holding the Ball

  6. hirundine608

    “handsome is as handsome does”
    my Granny used to say,
    “awesome is as awesome does”,
    now seems to be the way,
    come make a link, that makes us think
    for Remi wants to play.

    Find a word, one word that stands out in the herd,
    A phrase or two that makes us stew,
    Or one that just makes us blink,
    a cute one, a brash one,
    that just seems to stink

    Come think of them all,
    the ones that hold us in thrall,
    The ones we use but really we shouldn’t
    For ahead of it all,
    stands a word that nobody’s heard
    For it could but really it wouldn’t.

    Oh yes, my word of niggle because I do not hate it. For I too use it. Is the word “Cool “https://hirundinedotnet2.wordpress.com/


  7. helen meikle's scribblefest

    ‘bored of’, ‘different to’, the growing use of ‘parse’ in ways the users obviously think demonstrates superior erudition, but instead shows they have no idea what it really means (shame on the education system). All lost causes, good thing I’m old

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lifelessons Post author

      Thanks Helen.. That adds to the list! Now I have to know where you’ve heard anyone use “parse” for any purpose! I haven’t heard that word since high school. I was an English teacher and don’t know what we used in place of it.


      1. helen meikle's scribblefest

        I’ve come across it in the media a few times lately, used instead of ‘analyse’. Grrr! I don’t think kids are taught to parse anymore. Too taxing for their little brains. No wonder the language is getting so sloppy! My kids certainly weren’t taught much grammar at all, although it’s now been reintroduced.


      2. lifelessons Post author

        Now, Helen, will it give you a stroke if I remind you that literal can now mean either literal or figurative? It is true. They’ve change the meaning to go along with modern usage.


  8. lifelessons Post author

    I also taught grammar in high school. I think I even taught diagramming. I’m such an experiential learner that I loved the method and had a methods teacher in college who believed all learning should be experiential. It was really the best class I ever had and the one most helpful to my teaching. (Ha. I just went through my comment and changed all the sentence fragments to proper sentences, knowing you’d be “parsing” them!!!!) I will not, however, give up my tendency toward an overuse of exclamation marks.


    1. helen meikle's scribblefest

      I learned to parse by rote, believe it or not, when I spent a year at a small school tyrannised by an old-school head. Have never forgotten it, though! And having learned the rules so well, I now break them with reckless abandon: sentence fragments, starting sentences with conjunctions, ending them with prepositions.
      BUT… I don’t accept the literal/figurative thing in this case. Won’t accept it. Don’t care if that makes me an antediluvian pedant. They’re not changing the meaning to go with modern usage. They’re plucking a vaguely related word out of the air to look clever and innovative, not really knowing what it means. Modern usage would do well to embrace its true meaning first, before they go messing with it (ie you have to learn the rules before you can break them effectively).
      🙂 Yeah yeah, I’m a picky old…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lifelessons Post author

        Yer preachin’ to the choir, girl! And forgottenman agrees. One thing that bonded us early on was a half hour discussion of whether the Oxford comma should be used or not. He still says yes. I say no.


      2. helen meikle's scribblefest

        I’m ashamed to say I had to look up the Oxford comma – but did know what it was about when I found it! My preference would be yes to avoid ambiguity, no otherwise. (Also brings up the question of commas before conjunctions!) Have you come across “Eats, Roots & Leaves” by Nicholas Waters?


      3. lifelessons Post author

        I didn’t know the correct name for it either until Forgottenman introduced me to the term. I had been taught not to put a comma in front of a conjunction that joined the last two words in a list and the books I taught from also taught that so I have remained true to former habits. He uses the comma there.


  9. Christine Goodnough

    A word I hate. Hmm… It’s hard to pick one, but these come to mind:

    Gray. (Twice over for the 50 shades of sexual abuse-type gray.) Nature does give us some nice tones in our clouds (I prefer to say grey”) but by and large I don’t like the colour and I don’t like the word.

    Cancer. One of those gray masses we all hate. I believe everyone hates to hear that word — and what it represents. Ditto with recurrence, inoperable, terminal

    kill As in, “My Mom’s going to kill me when she finds out.” Etc. Back in Grade Ten I heard a classmate say to a friend, “My mom asked me what I’d think if she has another baby. I told her if she has another baby I’ll kill her.” IMO that type of usage should be banned.


      1. lifelessons Post author

        Your request is my demand. I’ll do both, since I liked your comment about “I’ll kill you,” so I’ll use the entire clause. I’ll also add “kills,” though.


  10. Anna sime

    I do not like to see or hear “It’s perfect” when it obviously can’t be. I have a friend who uses “as well” at the end of a statement and I want to choke her before she gets to the end of the next sentence. And “Impossible!” when clearly what was described has occured.
    I catch myself using “pretty” as an adverb and it upsets me each time I do and I wonder how many times I miss catching it.



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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s