[Tagging] drinkable vs. drinking_water

Eugene Alvin Villar seav80 at gmail.com
Tue Jul 24 14:25:15 BST 2012

On Sun, Jul 22, 2012 at 9:32 PM, Philip Barnes <phil at trigpoint.me.uk> wrote:
> On Sat, 2012-07-21 at 11:43 -0400, David ``Smith'' wrote:
>> Just contributing another data point on vocabulary…
>> I am a native English speaker from Ohio, USA.  I have been aware of
>> the term "potable" for many years, probably since asking what it meant
>> after seeing a water source labeled "non-potable".  I have seen that
>> warning on taps in public parks, and on many trucks and railcars.
> I am a native English speaker from the UK, I have never seen the term
> potable used in the UK. Labels on taps use the term 'drinking water', or
> 'not drinking water'. Any council using the word 'potable' is likely to
> be slammed by the Campaign For Plain English.
> I only understand potable because I have studied French, and have a good
> memory. We really should stick to 'Drinking Water', as does real world
> signage.

Just to add another point too. I consider myself a native English
speaker from the Philippines and the word "potable" has been in my
vocabulary since elementary school. And many people I know are also
aware of this word. I'm guessing that it is because there's a lack of
potable water in a developing country like mine. It's actually only
from this email thread that I've learned that the word comes from the

Personally I prefer "potable" since it's a precise term but
"drinking_water" is acceptable too especially since it's already being
used in OSM.

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