Friday, July 19, 2013

What we say around he-uh

This morning I was thinking how folks turn specific words or expressions into generic ones. This happens by common use in our speech. Here are some things we say around here:

Post Toasties for any corn flakes cereal
Skil Saw for any electric circular saw
Crescent wrench for any adjustable end wrench
Channellocks for any tongue-and-groove pliers
Coke for any type of sweetened carbonated beverage
Vaseline for any kind of petroleum jelly
Kleenex for any kind of disposable facial tissues

Some of these may have a wide range of use. Any of you use these terms generically?

Also we say "hot water heater." Well, "we" don't say it anymore. I quit a long time ago. A tradesman often pointed out that a hot water heater was quite pointless. He said it often enough that I got the point. If the water was hot, you wouldn't need a heater for it. It is cold water that we need to heat it. It might be better to call it a "cold water heater" but "water heater" will do just fine. We still call it a "hot water heater".

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