I walked past a church yesterday, and on the sign outside there was a message that read something like:
"It is a crime when good persons do nothing."
Hmm. I have a problem with this. Not the sentiment - which is fine. My problem is with the word persons.
My distaste for the word has two levels.
First: the aural aesthetic sucks.
Second, but relatedly: We have a word in the English language for the plural of "person". That word is PEOPLE. Oh, you might argue, but "persons" implies an individuality that "people" doesn't have. Well, to you I would say that we also have a plural for the word "individual". That word is INDIVIDUALS.
I might as well tell you the other words I can't stand (some arbitrarily, some for actual reasons):
utilize (Why not just use "USE"? There's no economy of language here.)
commentator (Why not just "commenter"?)
There are words I love, of course. In fact, what made me think of this in the first place is that a woman in my play told me that I used her favorite word in the show: thwack. That's a pretty good word. Others:
...just to name a few.