Why do we hate the ugly ‘M’ word so much?

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Irrational hatred is a funny thing.

Whether animal, vegetable or mineral, there are some things we just can’t stand; for no apparent reason.

Certain words can be at the top of our hate hit lists too. Take ‘moist’ for instance (this is the only time you’ll ever catch me using the word, and note, it’s for example purposes only).

A word just like any other, yet I despise it. Physically cringe when it’s uttered, stop people in their tracks when I know it’s coming, and shudder when it actually escapes into the open.

Seems I’m not the only one hating the word. An expert (in what I’m still not sure) recently revealed the six words women despise most, with my least favourite topping the list.

The other five included squirt, panties, chunky, curd and flap. Makes perfect sense to me.

But I’m with the 77 per cent of women surveyed, who also put the ‘m’ word on top of their no-no list.

Other polls have come back with similar findings – one naming it ‘the ugliest word in the English language’, while another pointed out that a Facebook group has been created called ‘I Hate The Word Moist’, and has already clocked up 7,000 followers. Make that 7,001.

But what’s the reason?

Scientists have been so puzzled by the question that they’ve spent time seriously researching it (oh to be a scientist), initially determining that the ‘oist’ sound was causing the trouble. Not for me. Hoist, foist, rejoice (does that count?) – all fine. Not great, but I can live with them.

But combine it with the mmm noise, and oh, ewww, just stop.

They also found that people hated the word more when it followed, or preceded, vulgar sexual words, but less so when used to describe things like cake.

This self-inducted survey participant disagrees. It makes cake sounds gross too. In fact, when Jaffa Cake brazenly used the word to describe the ‘Big One’ (it just gets worse) on its packaging, I boycotted the brand. Some cake may well be ‘m’ – but please McVities, let us be the judge of that. Quietly.

And if it does have any kind of sexual connotation (note to scientists – vulgar sexual words are always, well, vulgar, no matter how they are described) then why would we use it to talk about food?

Do I want those thoughts in mind when perusing the baked goods aisle? Umm, no thank you.

Unless I’m avoiding the sweet stuff. Then there would be no better way to be put off...