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Beauty… and the beast. By Raelene G (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Pathetic fallacy. Literally. Putrefy. Puke. Gastronomy. What do these words all have in common? They should all die an agonising death. For one reason or another, they fell afoul of that great literary deity (known to his devoted followers simply as ‘Matt’). Others, recognising that further sacrifice was needed in order to appease The Writer, donated more unwanted and unloved words. So much so that I decided to write another post on it…

The following were all suggested by friends and readers and will be attributed to the relevant bloggers where possible; I picked my five favourite suggestions.

Number Five: Jigsaw

The issue raised with jigsaw was simple. It had nothing to do with either a form of dance nor a cutting tool. As such, it was deemed as unfit for purpose by one of my readers and consigned to this list… (I looked it up out of curiosity, and the etymology is that a ‘jig’ is a cutting tool which ‘sawed’ the pieces-the jigsaw was the thing that cut the pieces. Hence it is technically a jigsaw puzzle. However, I have to agree that it is a misleading word given the primary defintions.)

Number Four: Decimate (At the Foot of the Sierras)

Another technicality (which is in no ways a bad thing), Elizabeth was annoyed by the way the word was misused (it originally meant to destroy one tenth of something, hence ‘deci’), and I have to agree with her that misused words are the bane of modern society…

Number Three: 110% (Mathemagical Site)

OK, it’s a phrase rather than a word, but this is another one of those misused phrases, nay impossible phrases. One-hundred percent is the maximum possible amount, anything else is just… silly really.

Number Two: It is what it is (Mathemagical Site)

Obviously, what else is it going to be? This is so mind-bogglingly obvious that it doesn’t even need to be stated, therefore this is another phrase which can be consigned to the waste bins of the vernacular.

Number One: Pulchritude (M.C. Tuggle, Writer)

Who knew beauty could be so ugly? For that is what this word means, and in itself it is so evocative of so many unpleasant images (just a couple of the things it sounds like are putrefy and mulch). Off with its head!

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