[Ads-l] New to me: _wet signature_

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon May 2 10:46:52 UTC 2016

Ah, retronym of the week.  Could be worse, given "wetwork", "wet operation", and the ilk, apparently (as discussed here) lexical legacies of the KGB.   Blue/black ink is relatively benign, even if it does sometimes smear.


> On May 1, 2016, at 11:54 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
> "Wet signature" means that an actual signature in blue or black ink is
> necessary. A photocopy will not suffice.
> Of course, the term once had a literal meaning:
> Illustrated Naval and Military Magazine: A Monthly Journal ... Page 70
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__books.google.com_books-3Fid-3DpQ4AAAAAMAAJ&d=AwIBaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=BEGPWZo0EOJNf2YJZ0_UuHjjhKk2G6yI8uTdVc2QxQg&s=0pOniQH75QA5QVwq7T4_iwScJUiJ5rdsbpS-YB6esU8&e= 
> 1885 - Read
> The clerk returned with the letter signed, blotted the still-wet signature,
> folded up and directed the reply, and silently handed it to its bearer, who
> almost as silently wended his way to the quarters of his Chief in the Royal
> Arsenal.
> -- 
> -Wilson
> -----
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> -Mark Twain
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=AwIBaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=BEGPWZo0EOJNf2YJZ0_UuHjjhKk2G6yI8uTdVc2QxQg&s=MQ1PsHTKkbRdRwCeVMtLYE3SA3VZqHk7CocRet7p31M&e= 

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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