issues; the X from Hell

Mark A. Mandel mamandel at LDC.UPENN.EDU
Tue Dec 12 15:31:56 UTC 2006

Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU> quoth:

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?


(Somebody else, sorry, I've deleted the mail) said approximately:

> More likely "illegal substance".

And/or "controlled substance", which is the way I seem to recall seeing it
in news reports. Or maybe that's from an overexposure to medical-legal

m a m

The American Dialect Society -

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