issues; the X from Hell

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Mon Dec 11 14:10:29 UTC 2006

More likely from "illegal substance."


Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Charles Doyle
Subject: Re: issues; the X from Hell

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.


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