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Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2003 14:18:41 +0000 (UTC)
From: (Andrew Stephenson)
Subject: Re: 9-5 Gas Mileage?  Urgent

In article <> "David Taylor" writes: > I'm just having a quirky moment but if the americans call > petrol (gasoline) "gas", what do you guys use as a word for > Gas? You can't call it gas because gas and liquid are > different and you can't use the same word for totally different > things! :-) (And then there are obsolescent terms like "it's a gas!" -- for a very funny thing, though I suspect that is an allusion to Nitrous Oxide the anaesthetic gas, of which a lesser dose could induce an unjustified laughing fit, earning it the tag "laughing gas".) USian "gasoline", IIRC, was an early brand name for motor spirit. There are fads in branding; at one time, many oily and/or greasy products were "*oline". Before mineral oil was used seriously as fuel, a natural leakage into the Seneca River led to "Seneca Oil", corrupted to "snake oil", which con-men hawked to credulous yokels as medecine. Britspeakers opted for the more generic "petroleum (ie, rock oil) spirit" -- hence "petrol". Which now sounds more rational is an exercise left to the Reader. However, I too would prefer not to invite confusion when my car is refuelled, especially with gaseous gas increasingly available. (OTOH, the filler connectors are different, so that's all right.) -- Andrew Stephenson

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