What I Write

3/03/2017

Rick kick stick ick? #MFRWauthor

I had planned on skipping Week 9 of the 52-week challenge. The prompt "ick" words created that response.  "Ick" otherwise known as "ew words" But I reread the rules and to get the button at the end you have to do all 52 weeks, so I thought I'd give it a try. Without any real idea in mind, other than not to include the list of forbidden phrases and words (you now what I mean, the list romance publishers have on their submissions page as ones not allowed), I turned the computer on and went to the net for some quick research. At 2 in the morning, research is always quick. It has to be done in between summonses to adjust beds and bathroom runs.

Scans of the search results were mainly the previously mentioned forbidden words or articles about censorship. Then there was an article referencing a 2016 New York Times story on "word aversion."

Now I had never heard the phrase "word aversion," let alone logomisia. At first, I thought it was a fake word. Or maybe it was like ALOGOTRANSIPHOBIA, the fear of being caught on public transport with nothing to read, a word which has not yet found its way into dictionaries.

Logomisia or the easier on the ear, word aversion, is described as a phenomenon that causes people to be repelled by common words.The majority of references described the reaction as only relating to specific word sounds others consider its connotation, what the word brings to mind.


So what are "words that make readers go "ick?" A great number of the words readers listed in the New York Times survey were related to body parts and bodily functions. Think school boy humor. Then there are certain word sounds that create a "ew" response, especially "oosh" words.

Now as a writer you might consider the topic irrelevant. But if you use a word, or group of them, that are known to turn a reader away in disgust, distaste, or even create a visceral, physical response, be sure that is the reaction you want to achieve. And to use them sparingly. If a book is full of the "aversion words," the reader might not enjoy the book, or even finish it.

Be sure to visit the other authors in the challenge to read their response to "icky words." ~till next time, Helen

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/12/science/everyday-words-that-make-you-go-ew.html

www.nytimes.com/2016/05/07/science/moist-word-aversion.html
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/probing-the-moist-crevices-of-word-aversion/

And here's the rest of the hop. Join in.

5 comments:

  1. Words are powerful and you're right: use them as you intend!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I enjoyed reading your post! Words are powerful and as authors we should be careful how we wield them. (Not stated as any slam against your post, but rather in agreement with it because we know there are some authors who feel their first drafts are gold!)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Logomisia? I love it when I learn a new word, so thanks. My MFRW.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for stopping by. I enjoyed you'all's thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Interesting post. My first thought on this topic ran to my intense dislike of Brussel Sprouts and then I had share a Cheesecake pic to feel better about typing them on my post.

    ReplyDelete