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Faux Outrage

Literally the most important blog in the universe since 2010.

There are two types of things in the universe:

  1. Things that are milk
  2. Things that are not milk

For example, let’s say I have an item and I show this item to you and say, “Excuse me, attractive person, is this item milk?”  You might attractively reply, “Yes, I know what that thing is and that thing is milk!”  Or you might tell me, “No, I am sorry to handsomely report that is not milk.”

This is easy, right?

Right.

But also, as it turns out, wrong.  Very, very wrong.

It has recently come to my attention that we are apparently living in a society where items that clearly belong in category (2) (“Things that are not milk”) are being placed firmly and without question into category (1) (“Things that are milk”).

This is a problem.

How big of a problem will depend on your feelings about being completely and utterly doomed.

None of us would be surprised to learn that Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “milk” as:

a fluid secreted by the mammary glands of females for the nourishment of their young

Noncontroversial, yes?  (Except when done in public.)

That is without a doubt what milk is.

Secreted fluid.  Mammary glands.  Female.  Nourishment.

Got it.

But life would be too simple if we lived in a society where “milk” simply meant “milk.”   Far too simple.  Instead, we have created a universe where liquid made from almonds, soy, and rice are all classified as “milk.”

Almond milk?  Soy milk?  Rice milk?

You can find these products in the dairy section of your favorite grocery store right next to the milk, they are packaged as though they are milk, and it will even say “MILK” right there on the container!

But besides being advertised as milk, what do these liquids actually have in common with, you know, milk?

Secreted fluids?

No

From mammary glands?

Uhhhhh…

From a female?

Weird

Nourishing?

Debatable

Milk has evolved from “an actual thing” to a generic term for a cartoned or boxed (or bagged — I didn’t forget aboot you, Canadians!) white-ish liquid that you can pour over cereal without immediately throwing up.  This is how we know, for example, that orange juice is not milk.  Not yet anyway.

Basically, because marketers figured out that it’s possible to sell “milk replacement products” to consumers by storing them alongside actual milk in containers resembling milk containers, we have thoughtlessly relented and have begun calling a substance made by finely grinding almonds together with water“milk.”

It is not milk.

It is not even close to milk.

As a result of our shenanigans, Merriam-Webster now also defines “milk” like this:

a liquid resembling milk in appearance

Look what we hath wrought!

“Milk” now means “milk” and also “something that is by definition not milk.”  How many words do we need that are defined as themselves and also their opposite?

(Correct answer: zero.)

As a society, are we happy about this?  Our inability to declare loudly and confidently what constitutes “milk” — at the behest of our marketing and sales overlords — has led to a chain reaction culminating in our dictionaries codifying forever our disturbing passivity.

The word “milk” has been split in two and that is sad.

Or am I the only one crying over split milk? *

Spilt Milk Comic

* That totally happened

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