Why We Hate the Word 'Moist,' According to Science

woman not listening
The word "moist" has essentially wreaked havoc on our language. There are so many people who hear that word spoken aloud and are filled with a sense of disgust and dread. But exactly what is it about that word that sends shivers up people's spines? A research team from Oberlin College was determined to find out -- and it turns out, there is actually a reason. 


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The researchers conducted three experiments on a group of participants to reach a conclusion. In one test, those who claimed to have an aversion to the word "moist" were asked if words that rhymed (like "hoist" and "rejoiced") gave them the same feelings of dread. They were then asked if words with similar meanings impacted them, like "sticky" and "damp." And finally they were asked to compare how vulgar words like "vomit" made them feel versus the word "moist."

The sample participants who already hated the word "moist" indicated that it was the words with related meanings that were the most unpleasant -- leading researchers to believe that the word itself just simply makes us thing of unpleasant things like bodily fluids.

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Another conclusion derived from the experiments? It's simply a cultural phenomenon. Since "so many people" hate the word "moist," others feel compelled to jump on the hater bandwagon, too.

Perhaps it's best to just try and think of it as a great descriptor for cake.

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