[Tagging] drinkable vs. drinking_water

Philip Barnes phil at trigpoint.me.uk
Tue Jul 24 21:39:15 BST 2012

On Tue, 2012-07-24 at 13:00 -0700, Glom wrote:
> ng, I have a question for Eugene Alvin Villar that wrote today
> about potable. 
> Is it so that potable is recognized as the "correct" word and if you
> here or read drinkable it will suggest that the person writing it do
> not know the correct word? Do that mean that potable and drinkable do
> not have different meaning, more than potabel having a clear offical
> weight to it? That is, 
Potable is the scientific term and will be used by those in 'The Trade'.
The only person I have ever heard use the term was a friend who worked
for the water company. I only understood it as a French word. That was
several years ago, and until this thread I had not come across the word
used in English. 

I have never, in the UK, seen a tap labeled as Potable. It will not be
generally understood. 

A tap, directly fed from with mains water, in the UK, is always
drinkable. In large buildings, such as schools and factories there is
often a cold water storage tank and in these cases the taps are often
labeled as 'Drinking Water', or 'Not Drinking Water'. Both will usually
be accompanied by a symbol.


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