Solids and wetness - euphemisms (UNCLASSIFIED)

Mark Peters markpeters33 at YAHOO.COM
Fri Jun 6 16:15:55 UTC 2008

I love it. Not very euphemistic though!

--- On Fri, 6/6/08, Mullins, Bill AMRDEC <Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL> wrote:

From: Mullins, Bill AMRDEC <Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL>
Subject: Re: Solids and wetness - euphemisms (UNCLASSIFIED)
Date: Friday, June 6, 2008, 11:59 AM

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Poster:       "Mullins, Bill AMRDEC" <Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL>
Subject:      Re: Solids and wetness - euphemisms (UNCLASSIFIED)

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One of the standard euphemisms in my house (17 month old son) is

> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society
> [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Benjamin Barrett
> Sent: Friday, June 06, 2008 2:31 AM
> Subject: Solids and wetness - euphemisms
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> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM>
> Subject:      Solids and wetness - euphemisms
> --------------------------------------------------------------
> -----------------
> I wonder if the AHD4 adequately covers the diaper meaning of
> solids or wetness.
> Relevant definitions:
> solid n. 1. A substance having a definite shape and volume;
> one that is neither liquid nor gaseous.
> wetness n. 1. The condition of being wet. 2. Moisture
> Citations -----
> 1. Why you'll LOVE using Fuzzi Bunz Cloth Diapers:[...]
> (a) Soft, waterproof outer material keeps wetness & messes
> where they belong preventing leaks....
> (b) Fleece is naturally stain resistant and prevents solids
> from sticking. (
> 2. Just dump solids in toilet, if it [sic] does not fall out
> then put in hamper, the washing machine will do the rest.
> (
> 3. (a) On most packs of disposable diapers, the user is
> instructed to dispose of solids in the toilet before putting
> the diaper in the trash....
> (b) While they do, in some ways, present less of an impact on
> the environment, they still contain many of the same
> chemicals, most importantly the polymers that absorb your
> baby's wetness and form gel beads.
> (
> 4. Also, the fact that the diaper doesn't immediately wick
> away wetness like the disposables means that our little one
> tells us when his diaper is wet and this will make toilet
> training much easier. (
> )
> 5. Chaffing or contact allergies can be culprits, but most
> often the cause is simply wetness - chemicals and enzymes in
> urine and stools can constitute quite the toxic cocktail when
> left to marinate a soft baby's bottom.
> (
> n/diaperrash/
> )
> -----
> "Solids" seems the easier case. In citations 2 and 3 (a), in
> particular, the item being referred to isn't solids in
> general, but specifically feces. "Solids" seems to derive
> from "solid wastes."
> "Wetness" is a little murkier. Nobody would confuse the
> nature of "my jacket is wet" with "my diaper is wet"
or "the
> wetness (of my jacket)"
> with "the wetness (of my diaper)" but as there isn't a
> adjective readily available (such as urine-soaked), context
> is potentially what makes the difference, rather than an
> actual separate meaning.
> In citation 4, both "wet" and "wetness" seem to be
> on the surface, but "wick away wetness" indicates the process
> of a diaper funneling urine away from the source (the penis)
> to an absorbent pad where the urine will not cause skin
> irritation. In citations 1 (a) and
> 3 (b), "wetness" seems to clearly indicate urine, though
> citation 5 specifically includes fecal moisture in the
> concept of "wetness."
> I'm not sure how the line is defined, but it seems that both
> of these have very specific meanings that deserve separate
> definitions. What do others think? BB
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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