Wednesday, December 16, 2009


There are some words whose inherent silliness gets lost to us as we repeatedly say them over the years. In effect, we get numbed to their inherent sillness. “Manhole” is certainly such a word. In case you happen to live under a rock or something, a manhole is a tunnel that goes from the road surface down to the sewers or whatever happens to be underneath the roads. Yes, it is a hole in the ground. Yes, it is designed for men to climb down (women are, I believe, allowed to use them). So 'manhole' is a very literal name for them. Charmingly so, I suppose.

Except for how silly and vaguely sexual the name is. Like, did nobody realise the snicker-potential of the name? Did nobody think it might evoke, say, the anus? Or was the word just coined in a different, tamer era?
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