pejoration of "stuff?"

Doug Harris cats22 at FRONTIERNET.NET
Thu May 24 12:43:47 UTC 2007

Michael Quinion wrote:
One of my subscribers found a sign in a British
supermarket over a shelf of foodstuffs described as "free from foods". (A
pic is at

>From the same (above-cited) edition of WorldWideWords:
John Cray saw a sign at a Chinese Restaurant in Beverly, Massachusetts. It
was posted next to an urn full of hot water and read, "Please avoid boiling
water and your children." He wasn't sure whether he was being asked to avoid
boiling his children, or just to avoid them.
'Reminds me of the two reasons I always cited for not having parented:
1) Matchbook covers warned me, back when I was a smoker, to "keep away from
2) Since then, medicine bottles have presented to me the same warning. I've
   been pretty observant.
(the other) doug

The American Dialect Society -

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