PET in general use?

Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Tue Nov 15 20:51:38 UTC 2011

On 11/15/11 3:23 PM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
> I first heard petto botoru (PET bottle) about twenty years ago in Japan, referring to the bottles made out of polyethylene terephthalate. In Japan, hard plastic is called purasuchikku (plastic) and soft plastic such as used for bags is called ビニール (vinyl); as neither word for "plastic" is appropriate for plastic bottles, it seems PET was adopted.
> When translating petto or PET to English, I therefore use "plastic."
> I was surprised last night to find "PET bottles" listed as contents on the side of a Mr. Beer beer crafting kit.
> I see that the word is used in community forums discussing their PET bottles:
> The OED has PET back to 1965, with another citation in 1991 (nothing on the AHD). The 1965 citation is chemical and the 1991 is garbage-related, so neither seem to be indicative of popular usage.
> I don't imagine people latching onto PET soon for plastic Coke bottles, but at least the beer-crafting segment of the population is becoming acquainted with the term.

I would imagine that the craft brewers would care more about the precise
chemical composition of their bottles than civilians would.

Alice Faber                                    faber at
Haskins Laboratories                           tel: (203) 865-6163 x258
New Haven, CT 06511 USA                        fax (203) 865-8963

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