Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What's In A Word

Everything.

It's just a word, certainly, but some words can make your blood boil, laugh, shiver, cry, maybe even make you feel nauseous. 

Here's one that's gotten under my skin lately, thanks to the over-the-top nonstop William and Kate Wedding coverage:  Commoner

Commoner?!  What a condescending word.  It implies "less than."  As if anyone who's a commoner is nothing but ordinary, boring, and not worthy.  It even sparked some interesting convo on Twitter yesterday, which was kind of fun.

So I'm suggesting a new word to be used instead of Commoner.  I prefer Betterer.  Kind of rolls of your tongue, doesn't it?

Are there any seemingly innocent words that press any of your emotional buttons?

20 comments:

Bonnie R. Paulson said...

Teachable - makes me want to rip someone's head off. Or fertile. Or sterile. Hate those words. lol.

great post! hugs!

Heather M. Gardner said...

Commoner just meant you didn't have a title. It doesn't have anything to do with being ordinary.
They're British, nuff said.
I do like Betterer though.
HMG

Lisa said...

Yeah, I'm not a fan of the word "commoner" either. I'm over the royal wedding stuff already, lol!

Danette said...

Of course Commoner was meant to be demeaning! Who is kidding who? The only people who were worth anything were the people with titles! That's why the feudal system was so terrible. Other words... little woman, the wife.... I have plenty when it comes to women because there are plenty that are designed to remind them that they are just the silly lesser species but i can't thin of them right now and I need to get ready for work! Have a great day! Cheerio!

Angela Felsted said...

I like betterer. That's awesome!

Karen Walker said...

I like the word betterer. I can't think of a word that disturbs me at the moment. I'm getting pretty tired of the royal coverage though. Makes me think we did a good thing coming over the pond and getting independence.
Karen

Angelina Rain said...

I agree, commoner is a bad word. It should just be unroyal, that way they don't seem spoiled (as the word royal makes me think of spoiled brats).

Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

One word that comes to mind is "mistake". As in Dancing with the Stars when Karina had a "mishap" out of her control and slipped on Ralph's cape. The ditzy co-host asked her how she felt after her "mistake". People need to choose their words with more care.

Elise Warner said...

Grating.Just rubs me the wrong way.
Whoops. Sorry about that.

Sierra Gardner said...

This is random but I get all worked up when people talk about asking a father's "permission" to marry his daughter. Irks me no end. Blessing would be a much more appropriate word (and hopefully coming from all the parents involved, not just the dad).

Linda Leszczuk said...

One of my buttons was already mentioned - "the wife". Like an inanimate object. Another is mutt or mongrel for any dog that happens not to have AKC papers. My favorite breed is the American Mixed.

Not too crazy about all the recent PC names we've come up with to replace perfectly accurate (non-derogatory) words. I have a good friend who is blind. He will tell you he is blind. He's not visually-challenged. He's simply blind.

Liz Fichera said...

Ha! Glad I'm not the only one with word issues. Teachable? The wife (oh, I dislike that one too)? Mistake?? Mutt? Verrrry interesting....

Talei said...

Ah, 'Commoner' it's bandied about in England, probably more so vs. other countries. I think it's better than peasant and is only really heard at times when the Royal Family is in the news. It's a throw back to the old class system, funnily I don't think too much about it. I don't use it myself.

As for the Royal Wedding, well - you know my thoughts, I wish they would elope already. ;-)

Matthew Vanacore said...

I totally agree. Excellent point! Frankly, I'm tired of hearing about this "royal wedding." The coverage has been nauseating. And they use words like commoner. Can they have more class with such generic characterizations. It's insulting.

Sorry to rant. Nice blog!

Trisha said...

I haven't heard any of the wedding crap that's been going on - don't listen to radio, and don't have a functioning TV. But I can't believe they are actually using that word!! That is SO medieval!

Colette said...

I hadn't really thought about it that way. Being a commoner myself, the word simply means "like me". Nevertheless, I am happy to see the royal family accepting Kate.

Talli Roland said...

Oh, ugh, don't even get me started on that one. I can't believe, in this day and age, they can throw around the word 'commoner'!

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Alison Stevens said...

I don't like the connotation behind commoner, either. I used it in my WIP, but it was intentionally used to show condescension. Betterer is great! :)

Theresa Milstein said...

Commoner. So British. Much more obvious about class, which is maybe better than pretending it doesn't exist. Maybe.

Rachel Morgan said...

Eish, those British and their terms. Makes it sounds like an old fairy tale: the prince and the commoner... And she looked ANYTHING by common in that dress and tiara!