Language Log: Ask Language Log: The moist panties phenomenon
Greg Sabin wrote:Powered by ScribeFire.
I'm writing to ask you about a certain word association quirk that seems to affect my wife and a few other women that I know. The issue centers around the word "moist." Both my wife and a close friend (also female) cannot stand the word, either written or spoken. (As you can imagine, this makes watching cooking shows rather difficult.) They are totally fine with "moisturizer," but cringe and shudder at "moist," or even "moisten." Another female friend has a similar aversion to "suckle."
So two questions: 1. Is this a phenomenon with which you are familiar? Have there been any studies about this type of "word aversion?" and 2. Is this a issue that is more likely to affect women (since I know of no men who have similar aversions)?