Apparently “moist” is the most hated word in the English language. Period.
University of Pennsylvania linguistics professor Mark Liberman explained to Good why we hate “moist” and that:
“[W]ord aversion is different from word rage, which is “where people get angry at jargon or slang associated with a despised group, or upset because a word or phrase is felt to be incorrectly used, or annoyed at language that they perceive as redundant, or overly complicated, or pretentious, or a cliché, or trendy, or politically incorrect.” That kind of dislike is more common. Grudges against irregardless, synergy, like, don’t go there, or retard fit comfortably in the word rage department.
The word itself has an association making it unpleasant or even disgusting for some people. People don’t like hearing “moist.” They also don’t like the way their own mouth feels when they say it. It seems like a mysterious psychological process at play here, but is it really?
I’m gonna go out on a limb here and point my finger directly at Betty Crocker (I’m looking at YOU, Betty!) and its “Moist Cake Mix Commercial” for officially ruining the word “moist.” You want a smoking gun? Here it is!
See how long you can sit through this commercial without wanting to punch a hole in the wall!
h/t Todd Philips!