For me, it's almost a dirty word. Not because I have a problem with real life. Well actually, maybe it is.
Let's be honest with ourselves for a moment. Do you remember your last 'I wish I'd never wake up' dream? One of those dreams where you wake up thick with the tastes and voices and warmth of the place, still as distinct and real as the smell of freshly cut grass on an August afternoon.
Do you remember that dream? Of course you do.
Because it was amazing. And more poignantly, it was so amazing because it was so very much better than the reality that you eventually woke up to.
Now let me ground this a little before we all get carried away. I have a remarkably blessed life, for which I try to send up as many thanks as I can, as often as I remember to. And I'm sure if you forced yourself to, you could rattle off your own list of blessings and fortunes, including the many forms that these things come in (a warm home, the chair you're sat in right now, the food working its way along your digestive tract). Because it could always be so very much worse, no matter how dismal you think things might be.
So yes, I have a great life. And yes, things could always be infinitely worse. But I'd be no more than a miserable, dogged pessimist if I ignored the fact that things could also be much better. Much, much better. Case in point: that lick-your-lips-it-felt-so-good dream world.
Now, the smutty amongst you will no doubt have your minds sloshing around in the gutter right about now. But I'm really not thinking along such base terms (to make a change). I’m not talking about those dreams.
It's the dreams that are simple and light that are the most delicious. With easily conceivable plots set in a world not so different to this one. Close to reality, just without the shadows and haunts and harsh lines that The World Out There can't help but have.
Though I suppose reality shouldn't be blamed for how it looks in comparison to Nirvana / Shangri-La. After all, if we had nothing but nightmares when we closed our eyes, then reality would seem like heaven on Earth.
So perhaps next time I find myself chanting an incantation at my alarm clock for ripping me out of the arms of pure joy, maybe I should be a lil' pissed at my dream world instead. For being so damn good.
But let's be honest, it'd be like hating chocolate, or your favourite jumper, or Dragonball Z – generally impossible to do. They're just too damn good to hate.