What are the two most feared — most reviled — words in the English language?
"Tax day," maybe? Or "traffic jam"?
"Pink slip" still connotes an awful brand of helplessness, even though, I assume, most Americans who get pink-slipped these days never see a pink slip.
No, my vote is for "standardized test."
That's right. You felt it, didn't you? Shivers up the spine. The stab of a No. 2 pencil. And oh! Those monstrous, monotonous bubbles. They may as well be a legion of eyes staring back at your inadequacy.