Annals of word aversion: "Moist, Diane"

I suppose most people reading this also ready Language Log and are therefore aware that word aversion is the hip new topic these days. How timely then that a new cosmetics line recently launched in Japan is called "Moist, Diane."

Well, they also use other punctuatings, like "Moist-Diane" and "Moist Diane," but I don't suppose those are any better from the point of view of the moist-averse. Who, incidentally, should also appreciate the tag line: "For the moisture of all women. Moisturized skin. Moisturized hair. Moisturized body."

In conclusion, moist.

Popularity factor: 3


I don't understand this whole word aversion thing; I guess it's the flagpole-sitting or phone-booth-stuffing of the early 21st century.


When I think of "word aversion" I think of the poor scribes at the Tang Dynasty court who had to avoid writing the characters 世 and 民 on pain of great suffering. It makes our modern squeamishness seem a little mundane in comparison.


This comment from the Language Log post really resonated with me:

> For me word aversion is related to mouth 'feel'. Moist, Foyer - actually I just realized that all my distasteful words involve ɔɪ surrounded by specific phonemes. I went and looked and it seems that this holds up for me because loyalty is weird at best, roil (and even worse roiling) is especially bad.

What's interesting for me is that I have an aversion to this phoneme ("ɔɪ") in English, but not in Japanese (well, I think it's the same phoneme - I'm referring to the kana pattern 「おい」). This makes me wonder whether perhaps the aversion initially developed from the meaning, but then generalized and became phonemic in nature. But since that meaning-based aversion never existed in Japanese, it didn't manifest itself at all.

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