For the hundreds of thousands of other words in the English language, most speakers are kind to them, if not oblivious. Most of them live passively, generating neither love nor hate. Of course, some are more popular than others (I’m talking about you “like”!) but overall, the majority of us words live an idyllic existence (“idyllic” most of all). Except for me, “moist.”
You would think that in 2012 — a year defined by a black President, an Asian NBA star and a partially-sentient cyborg GOP candidate — people would be more tolerant. Last year, everyone — ahem, Dan Savage — kept telling me that it would get wetter, that eventually people would find me comfortable and likable. Well it hasn’t, and I’ve decided it’s time to hang myself — out to dry.
What is it about me that you hate so much? I’ve thought about that question for hundreds of years and have never been able to answer it rationally. I know, I “like totally creep you out.” Even as a young child people would say my name, then shiver and announce that they needed to take a shower. But why? Do I sound that horrific? Am I the aural equivalent of Quasimodo? The sonic partner to the Phantom of the Opera? Even those ghouls found love, however transient it may have been. I stand alone. One may be the loneliest number, but I am the loneliest word.
I should revise that last thought. I DID have friends. Did, as in, used to. They have all fallen, one by one, victims of the same maelstrom of hate and bullying. And really, you guys are okay with the word “maelstrom” but not “moist”? Who the hell even says “maelstrom” and enjoys it? Anyway, my pals “panties,” “juicy,” and “flesh” crossed to the other side recently, too. They couldn’t take it. And frankly, I can’t keep living alone. All the people who complain about how we sound and how uncomfortable we make them are to blame. They’re the ones with blood on their hands (sorry “blood” and “hands”). Dammit people, use synonyms! Synonyms are our bench players! Use them, before someone else gets hurt.
For those I leave behind, I am sorry. But this was a long time coming. To my mother and father, “mist” and “most,” please know that this was not your fault. Who would have thought that your darling son would become the most hated etymological monster since “supple” (RIP)? To my dear triplet brothers, “hoist,” “foist,” and “joist,” I love you and am thankful nobody bullies you or even really knows about you. Sometimes, invisibility is a blessing in disguise. To my dear friends Merriam and Webster, you alone stuck to the truth. In your eyes, I know that I will always remain “characterized by high humidity,” and I thank you for such a kindness.
Like the great Martin Luther King, Jr., I too had a dream. But it was wet, and I know better than to share it with you intolerant bastards.