Can You Get More Pedantic?

Short one today.

almond milk

Not long ago over on the Book of Faces a friend of mine got into a fine old rant about the various “milks” on the market today.  The claim was “nothing with an adjective before the word ‘milk’ is actually milk” (implied, of course, was that he wasn’t talking about “chocolate milk” or other flavored milks). Someone else made the comment about “if it doesn’t come from a mammal’s teats…”

Can you possible get any more pedantic?

First, do you actually think this is confusing to anybody?  Does someone see “Almond Milk” and think that somewhere on the almond plant is a mammary gland?  I don’t know of anyone except these pedantic types that think it does or should.

Also, the term “milk” has been used as a descriptor for things that resemble milk for a very long time and in common parlance.  The earliest recorded use of the term “coconut milk” goes back to 1698.  Almond Milk apparently goes back even farther to the 14th century.  In this parlance Milk of Magnesia (suspension of Magnesium hydroxide used as an antacid and laxative) is a latecomer from 1872.

And yet there are some people who want to ban the use of the word “milk” for anything that doesn’t come from a mammary gland because it’s”confusing.”

Again, do you know anyone who actually is confused by this?  I don’t.  A whole lot of people are engaged in high dudgeon on behalf of others who are supposedly confused.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of almond and other milks, or wouldn’t be except the sugar content of cow’s milk:  12 grams of sugar in a single cup of cow’s milk.  That’s about 2/3 of the sugar in a Hershey’s Cookies and Cream candy bar and about half of that in an Almond Joy or Mounds bar. (Fans of milk will say “yeah, but…”.  But nothing, it spikes my blood sugar just like any other source.) I can use Almond Milk to make hot cocoa, in various recipes, or with low-carb cereals.  Whereas one cup of milk and I’m more than halfway through my net carbs for the day.

Yeah, I’d prefer the taste and “weight” of “real milk” but that’s not an option for me in most cases.  With that limitation “almond milk” or “coconut milk” (the unsweetened varieties) are an inferior but adequate substitute.

And, like everyone else I know, I know it’s a substitute.  I don’t think there are little mammary glands on the nuts.

So stop with the excessive pedantry already.

2 thoughts on “Can You Get More Pedantic?”

  1. I’m caught in the middle on this one – with regard to milk. I agree with your friend, they aren’t milk, but we milk spiders and snakes for their venom, and there are no udders to be found, so I can cope with this and I don’t think it’s confusing. But, I think it’s a great example to use for other nouns to which we add adjectives and then get confused. The one that comes most to mind is “social justice” which isn’t justice, but there are lots of people who believe it is (or that it’s better than justice.)


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