This week: The Sound of Gooey & Moist Edited by: W.D.Wilcox
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Even a baby can be dangerous when given a sharp scalpel.
Something was scratching the other side of my pillow all night long.
Razors have so many interesting uses.
There are times when all I can think about is murdering someone.
Sometimes, the things you see in the shadows are more than just shadows.
|The Sound of Gooey & Moist|
Moist. Mucus. Cyst. These are just a few examples of words people hate to hear. They make your skin crawl not only because of the gross visuals that come to mind, but also because of the way they sound. "The moist, festering pustule exploded with pus."
In this case, the word 'moist' really does seem moist. 'Oi’ sounds like a viscous fluid that doesn't easily ‘drop’ — there's another onomatopoeic word — but has this uninterrupted flow, just like the vowels ‘o’ and ‘i’ flow together in our speech.
Also, if you imagine its less-savory connotations — think clammy hands or bumping into a sweaty stranger on the subway — it makes a lot of sense why people have deemed “moist” the grossest word of all time.
Just like ‘oyster’ and ‘oil,’ these groups of vowels have an onomatopoeic origin. That is, they tend to express a sound that we associate with a certain type of object or experience.
Ointment is also right up there, again due to the “oi” sound. It sounds gross but also has icky associations.
Squirt ticks the same “gross” boxes but also adds the “rt” sound at the end. That sound is one of the hardest English sounds to master,
'Squelch', this word, plus the phonetics associated with it, brings to mind imagery of mud and sticky things. With squelch, the effect evoked is rather the scenario and sound.
Phlegm is a lot more obvious because of what it means. You get phlegm in your throat, you cough it up when you’re sick — and that’s undeniably nasty. It’s also similar to squirt in that it has the back-to-back consonants “gm” that are tough to say.
“The word ‘smear’ is a ‘gross-sounding’ word because of the context it’s usually used in. We use the word ‘smear’ to describe the usually unpleasant spreading of something that is also, usually, unpleasant.
Slurp, it’s also cringe-y due to its association with the literal sound of someone slurping, which has a tendency to trigger someone’s misophonia — or the disorder in which certain sounds cause emotional or physiological responses.
And then there's PUSTULE. What comes out of a popping pustule? PUS!
'Curd' sounds gross. Not only does it have a hard “r” sound that seems harsh, it also makes you think about smelly things.
Mucus is definitely in the same linguistic vein as "phlegm" and "moist,” not to mention the sticky icky bodily function association. And really, that's the recipe for a gross-sounding word. Does it have grimy associations? Is it uncomfortable to say? Consider it on the list.
|Gooey & Moist Picks|
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(Last month's question) What's scarier than THIS?
I'm being harassed by some guy a few streets over every time I go for a walk and he sees me
*checks rating* Witnessing intimate partner violence
The only situation I have found myself in that I found really scary and didn't involve a huge amount of pain was only two years ago. I went to my shed to do some weight-work. I warmed up with the heavy bag, no gloves, and that's when I saw the movement. A snake, a long one, two metres or so, a brown snake (that's the name of it), venomous. I knew to make noise as I backed away, so I did so. Don't get it angry.
And I almost stepped on a second one. It hissed at me and darted, but did not attack as such. It was a warning.
And that warning was that there were a heap of them. I jumped over the second one and edged towards the garage door. Several more heads appeared, coming from beneath the two wardrobes and the large gymnastic mat. They didn't chase me, but there were a lot of them in my shed.
I reached the door and stepped outside, then turned and collapsed to my knees. My heart was pounding in my chest so hard it hurt and the blood rushing through my ears had me deaf to everything, including my neighbour who had come by to drop off some fruit and veg. He asked what was wrong and all I could do was point at the shed.
He looked in, then slammed the door shut. It took me a few minutes to be able to stand, and by then he'd called a snake catcher.
It took the guy three hours to find and catch all the snakes. 14 in total had taken up residence in the shed over the winter. Well, 14 that he found. He checked the yard, then recommended I put some raw chicken out near the old disused chicken coop, because I might have another reptilian guest who would be a better option. I did, and within a few weeks a perentie had taken up semi-permanent residence. No snakes when faced with that, and while its bite might be slightly venomous, so long as I keep offering it some food, it won't attack me.
But my garage where I do my workouts becoming a haven for snakes... no thanks.
(I am not afraid of snakes, for what it's worth, just having that many wanting to live with me was the issue.)
When you catch a deadly disease, like COVID-19.
i was inside my apartment for hours while it was burning down the whole time no one knew i was there the only reason i'm alive is because i texted my last words to my father which turned out to be a rescue note
The wickedness of man
I was lying down on the sofa at around 10 pm. Then I heard my mother pass from the hall to the kitchen. After 2 seconds I went there after her, and I saw that the kitchen door was closed and the light was off. I immediately checked my mother in the bedroom. I saw that she was still sleeping. It's been 4 years since this thing happened. I am still closing all doors in the house. I am still trying to convince myself about this was an illusion of my brain.
Watching from overseas (Korea) seeing the rise of political violence in the U.S, and spreading of dangerous conspiracy theories such as Q Anon and the rising number of Americans who see other Americans as enemies that must be destroyed, I am amazed and appalled. Given the wide number of guns, and the general unhinged nature of our politics, I am afraid this will not end well.
Death of my wife and or cats.
What's Scarier THAN This?
Nightmares where I know there are typos and I can't find them.
When as a citizen enjoying a walk in town, there are gun shots all around, and seeing people go down, injured and dying... This is not a walk in the Park; it is when a citizen loses her/his life because others find it enjoyable to kill, maim, and destroy...
Frankly, after dying in surgery ...twice... none.
i work at the jail and when i am alone i can hear things. i try not to look up but stare at the time, hoping for it to go faster. but other then that, i think they are becoming my friends. doesn't happen as often.
Being caught in an elevator during a fire..... happened to me when I was 7.... thats why I'm claustrophobic.
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