I do not know why certain words upset
me so. There is no reason, none at all,
why simple sounds should drive me up the wall,
or set my teeth on edge, or make me want
to push the twit who said them off a ledge
some fifty storeys high. I don’t know why,
but certain words just make me want to clench
my fists and shout, as if I’m trying to cast
some wordy demon out. A word I’d like
to kick quite hard, repeatedly, and grind
to dust with size-ten hobnail boots upon
my stamping, grinding feet, is sweet. You see?
There is no rationale at work. I don’t
mind wheat, or tweet, or seat, or even sweat,
but sweet? It’s not the infra dig of, “Would
you like some sweet?” that doth offend mine ear;
the sound itself is what’s at fault. Another
irrational abomination, one
I’d like to push out of an aeroplane
without the comfort of a parachute,
is cute. I don’t mind cut, or coat, or cat,
but cute? It’s such a ghastly, dreadful sound
it makes me want to spit upon its stupid, cutesy face,
but having just ejected it at cruising
altitude, maybe I’m over-reacting?
The third offender on The List of Words
I’d Like to Lacerate and Leave for Dead
is bless. Really? Why? Surely, “Fuck off and die!”?
And yes, you’re right, with bless, I must confess
it isn’t really bless itself, but more
the insincere and patronizing way
it’s said: “Ah, bless!” No, not, “Ah, bless!”
You’re not a saint, so stop with all this bless-ing.
The final malefactor hails from far
away, across the Transatlantic Pond,
from good ol’ USA. And no, I won’t
become all smug, superior and pompous;
I love the way Americans can piss off
the boring English pedant with a well-aimed
“Hospitalization”. It makes my heart
rejoice to see such pain across the face
of one so certain that they’re always right.
But... teary? You cannot be serious!
It’s such a limp, pathetic, dish-rag sounding
disaster of a word. In fact, it doesn’t
deserve the title “word” at all. And here
we see, again, there is no rhyme or reason;
I simply hate the sound of certain words.
I know there’s absolutely nothing wrong
with sweet, or cute, or bless, or even teary,
but when our language is so rich, we can
afford to leave some dying in a ditch,
with twenty fatal gashes to the head.