Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My Seminal Work

I have made a decision.

Starting now, instead of using the word "germ" to describe something small and seedlike, my metaphor of choice is now "sperm".

See what I did there?

They both mean "seed". They even sound alike. In fact, from a linguistic point of view, unless you are talking in strictly biological terms, the two words are interchangeable. But it's sneaking a word perceived as naughty or inappropriate into casual conversation.

I expect to get several "who huh wha?" looks when I do this. Especially if I mumble it slightly.

Surely... surely she didn't say what I thought she said, they'll think. She must have said "germ". Yes. That's the only reasonable explanation.

Sperm. Sperm sperm sperm sperm sperm. It's fun to say. Would you look askance at a girl who, by chance, happens to say "sperm"?

I thought not.

Erin Palette: Breaking people's brains with proper terminology since 1987.


  1. I can imagine having a conversation with someone about wheat germ, except saying wheat sperm. In my mind, it would be quite hilarious. However, I'm not sure I'd ever actually say it. I'd probably just have more fun imagining the conversations. Now I shall be able to amuse myself all day.

  2. Would that, in turn, lead to Germ Whales?

    Sounds rather grainy, to be honest..

  3. "Our new antibacterial soap kills 95% of the sperms on your kitchen counter..."

  4. Troy, that could make one wonder just what the kitchen counters were being used for.


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