If you’re not someone who hates the word “moist” yourself, you probably know someone who does.
According to a study out of Ohio’s Oberlin College, it’s an affliction that affects 10 to 20 per cent of the English-speaking population. So, what gives? Is it the sound of the word that annoys people? The spelling? Because it’s definition is certainly pretty harmless.
The answer to all of the above is, of course, “no.”
The reason some people can’t stand this word, according to science, is because they associate it with bodily functions. In fact, those who can’t stand the word “moist” often share a similar distaste for words like “puke,” “phlegm,” and “damp.”
“[Moist-haters] speculate that phonological properties of the word are the cause of their displeasure,” the study reads. “However, data from the current studies point to semantic features of the word–namely, associations with disgusting bodily functions–as a more prominent source of peoples’ unpleasant experience.”
Researchers also found that aversion to the word “moist” is more prevalent among younger, more educated and “more neurotic people,” and is more commonly reported by women than men.
Oh well, guess we’ll just have to get used to using “wet” instead.