Another Banned Word

Back in February, I suggested it was time to start removing words from the English language. Words such as “slacks”, words that nobody uses in real life but still take up valuable real estate in dictionaries.

My next addition? Whiff.

Setting aside the negative association with foul smells, I don’t like saying the word – it’s just too airy, with the “wh” at the beginning and two f’s at the end. One f would have been fine. Two f’s mean your front teeth rest on your lower lip for a little too long (unless the word is “waffle”, in which case the anticipation of syrupy goodness makes up for the double consonant).

I first noticed my disdain for the word a week ago when I came across it in a movie review. Huh, I thought, that’s a weird word to include in a review. A couple of days later, my boss used it twice in four hours, and I winced both times. Later that night, I found it in a New York Times Magazine article and nearly screamed in frustration. It was a veritable whiffapalooza.

So, whiff is on the banned list. I’m sure the guy that runs this website will very disappointed.

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