issues; the X from Hell

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Mon Dec 11 13:45:47 UTC 2006

That use of "substance" is probably backformed from the legalistic "substance abuse"--the term "substance" having been adopted to include all sorts of, well, substances?


Even better to my mind than "situation" = 'emergency situation' and issue" = 'problematic issue' (or whatever) is the reference to "substance-free" (floors, dorms, etc.).  For us literally-minded types, it conjures up a wonderful image of life in a total vacuum.


The American Dialect Society -

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