It might have been a good idea, but the outcome was predictable:
It was intended to be a lighthearted quest to find the least popular word in the English language, but only a day after it launched, Oxford Dictionaries has ended its search following “severe misuse” of the feature by visitors to their website.
The dictionary publisher had invited users around the world to name their least favourite English word, intending to highlight differences between countries, genders and ages. When it opened for submissions on Thursday, “moist” was an early contender to top lists in the UK, US and Australia. It was later overtaken by “Brexit”, which went on to head the UK’s list, with “British” in third place.
But the #OneWordMap feature has now been closed, with a notice blaming the shutdown on “severe misuse”.
The dictionary publisher did not expand on which words had caused the shutdown, saying only that it was “a mixture of swearwords and religiously offensive” vocabulary. Posts on Twitter suggest that some users’ picks for their least favourite words included “Islam” and “Israel”.
Such people need to be embedded — up to the clavicle, anyway — in something moist.
(Via Language Log.)