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Hated Words In English Literature


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I hate it when writers use the word "alas", it's always felt like a cheap and overly dramatic cop-out to me. Whenever I see it used in a blog article online, I close the tab immediately, because I just can't read anything from a writer that would resort to using that word. I think there are tons of ways to go around using it, and I firmly believe that writers who are good enough eventually find it. In this modern age we should just get rid of that word altogether, but I know that's just my opinion.

Any of you hate some English words as much as I hate my hated word?

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I am not a fan of alas either, when done for flair or overused.  I can see it in some contexts but not many.  I do not like to see "whilst" here in the US although it may be a British custom that is accepted.  There are other words that people use to be pretentious and although I am degreed I do not pull out a million dollar word, when a five buck will do, unless it is appropriate in the conversation.

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I agree. I don't use "alas" because it doesn't sound like an English word at all. I don't usually have any hated words, although I don't like the sound of some of the words. For instance, I don't like the sound of cuss words, which I have often heard people say when I was in high school.

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I think context is everything. If someone is pompous, it's going to come through in the writing whether they use a word like alas or not. I've always preferred simpler language, but if a writer is skilled enough to use elaborate language and make it read well, it's all good to me.

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I use it sometimes! Almost exclusively in the sentence "Alas, no" meaning "Sadly, no" :P

I guess I could always switch to "alack" ;D

I can relate.  The few times that I use "alas" in speech or written word is for comedic effect.  Used that way, I find it can be amusing, especially putting the two together, "Alas and alack!"  It's a bit old fashioned and outdated if one were to use these words with full seriousness. 

But I also understand and agree with the larger point on avoiding pretentious language.  That can backfire and be counterproductive.  When communicating, the last thing we want to do is to use language that unduly calls attention to itself rather than to the concepts, thoughts and feelings we are attempting to convey.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I don't really like the word alas. I think many people misuse it and it annoys me greatly. People may think I'm crazy, but hey. That's me.

I feel this way too. I can't believe that it's still being used now, to be honest, and even more so that we're the irrational ones for hating it.  :laugh:

I don't think alas is even used as a serious word in writing as frequently as it used to be. Mostly when you read it somewhere its usage seems to be for comedic purposes.

Believe me, a lot of people still use it non-ironically. I even hear it used in popular shows and it always ruins my day whenever I do. :nerd:

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  • 1 month later...

There are a lot of words that I actually love but I can't think of any word that I hate. I do hate to hear people use certain words in order to prove their intelligence. However, it is different with a writer, if I can understand what the writer is trying to say then I am fine with the words used.

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I know that technically it is the proper way to say it, but I hate the word "vomit" over the word "throw up". It's just something about the word that makes the situation even more gross than it is to begin with! Another word that I don't like is "slurp". Random? yes... But still two of the words in the English language I really don't care for.

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I know that technically it is the proper way to say it, but I hate the word "vomit" over the word "throw up". It's just something about the word that makes the situation even more gross than it is to begin with! Another word that I don't like is "slurp". Random? yes... But still two of the words in the English language I really don't care for.

And yet there is nothing gross about "vomit" - plus I'm sure you use a vomitorium all the time.

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