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Subject: Water is not wet rss

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Bryan Thunkd
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Today, one of my friends was prompted by Facebook to join a group called "[Political Candidate] is not [thing that they obviously are]" (I'll avoid specifics as I'm not interested in the political ideology at play here and want to avoid RSP). His response was to say that he had no interest in joining that group nor one called "Water is not Wet". Obviously, he intended "Water is not Wet" to be an example of a obviously incorrect belief.

Yet, the more I think about it, the more I question that. It doesn't seem obvious to me that water must be wet. Wet is a property that I'm not sure it makes any sense to try to apply to water. Certainly "dry" wouldn't make sense applied to water.

So... is water wet? Or is that a phrase that simply has no meaning?
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Well it isn't dry; it isn't even damp, or fairly moist. So I think by default that it is, therefore, wet.
But I totally get where you're coming from with this.
 
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Wet is the property of having a material which is surrounded by water. If the hairs on your head are each encapsulated by a layer of water, we say your hair is wet.

So, technically, any given sub-quantity in a collection of water is indeed surrounded by more water. Since the material (the water) is surrounded (by more water), I'd say water is wet.
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maf man
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yes water is wet, its what makes up wet. water doesn't become wet so water isnt wet like you would be when water is pored on you.

The real mind bender is if h2o really exists. I wish I could find the study but the theory is its not actually a formed molecule and more of oxygen layers sharing the H protons like electrons tend to get shared
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Boaty McBoatface
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professorguy wrote:
Wet is the property of having a material which is surrounded by water. If the hairs on your head are each encapsulated by a layer of water, we say your hair is wet.

So, technically, any given sub-quantity in a collection of water is indeed surrounded by more water. Since the material (the water) is surrounded (by more water), I'd say water is wet.
So it's a sandwich.
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Bryan Thunkd
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professorguy wrote:
So, technically, any given sub-quantity in a collection of water is indeed surrounded by more water. Since the material (the water) is surrounded (by more water), I'd say water is wet.
But is it surrounded by water? Or is it just a part of that water? Am I surrounded by a crowd or just part of a crowd? Or both?

I get where you're coming from, but that's a very "Well, technically..." type of argument. I'm not sure there's any benefit or utility from calling water wet. Certainly, it's a different type of thing than asking "Is the dog wet?" There's a reason to ask that question, and the answer has some implications. There's neither a reason to ask if water is wet nor any implication from the answer. I'm more inclined to think that "wetness" is a property that doesn't apply to water.
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Jon M
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Thunkd wrote:
professorguy wrote:
So, technically, any given sub-quantity in a collection of water is indeed surrounded by more water. Since the material (the water) is surrounded (by more water), I'd say water is wet.
But is it surrounded by water? Or is it just a part of that water? Am I surrounded by a crowd or just part of a crowd? Or both?

I get where you're coming from, but that's a very "Well, technically..." type of argument. I'm not sure there's any benefit or utility from calling water wet. Certainly, it's a different type of thing than asking "Is the dog wet?" There's a reason to ask that question, and the answer has some implications. There's neither a reason to ask if water is wet nor any implication from the answer. I'm more inclined to think that "wetness" is a property that doesn't apply to water.


Ice is not wet unless water is forming on it as it melts. Steam is not wet unless it is condensing. It is therefore perfectly possible to get dry and wet forms of water.
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maf man
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Jon_1066 wrote:
Ice is not wet unless water is forming on it as it melts. Steam is not wet unless it is condensing. It is therefore perfectly possible to get dry and wet forms of water.

ice, water, and steam are different things else you would have said water water and water
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This morning, I was in the bathroom and as I turned, the belt of my bathrobe smacked a roll of toilet paper from on top of the toilet tank to actually in the toilet.

The water was very, very wet.
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Bryan Thunkd
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Jon_1066 wrote:
Ice is not wet unless water is forming on it as it melts. Steam is not wet unless it is condensing. It is therefore perfectly possible to get dry and wet forms of water.
Ice and steam are states that water can take, but they're not water. To say that ice can be wet doesn't have any relevance to whether water can be wet. In particular, when asking if ice is wet, I can distinguish between the piece of ice and the water surrounding it. It's impossible, at least to my naked eye, to distinguish water from the water that would be surrounding it. It would be like saying that I surround myself.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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Geosphere wrote:
This morning, I was in the bathroom and as I turned, the belt of my bathrobe smacked a roll of toilet paper from on top of the toilet tank to actually in the toilet.

The water was very, very wet.
That sounds more like the roll of toilet paper was wet. I don't think that you can demonstrate water's "wetness" by pointing to things that get wet when put in water.
 
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David Jones
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professorguy wrote:
Wet is the property of having a material which is surrounded by water.


Wet, as defined by dictonary.com

I don't like your definition for two reasons:

1) If I were to spill a bottle of rubbing alcohol on my shirt, we would still say that the shirt is wet. Nobody would quibble over the fact that alcohol doesn't contain water.

2) As pointed out by Jon M, wet has more to do with a state of matter (liquid) than the chemical composition.

Back to OP, referring definition number two as cited above: since water is a liquid in most everyday circumstances I think it is safe to say that "water is wet" is a true statement in the colloquial context it was used.
 
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maf man
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Thunkd wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
This morning, I was in the bathroom and as I turned, the belt of my bathrobe smacked a roll of toilet paper from on top of the toilet tank to actually in the toilet.

The water was very, very wet.
That sounds more like the roll of toilet paper was wet. I don't think that you can demonstrate water's "wetness" by pointing to things that get wet when put in water.

the water IS the wetness
"the paper is wet" = "the paper has water covering it" (just this grammatically wrong, hence we use the word wet)
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Bryan Thunkd
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davypi wrote:
Back to OP, referring definition number two as cited above: since water is a liquid in most everyday circumstances I think it is safe to say that "water is wet" is a true statement in the colloquial context it was used.
The second definition is "in a liquid form or state:
wet paint." That seems to be particularly aimed at things that can exist in different states. For example, paint can be wet (liquid) or dry (solid). But water can only exist in liquid form. We consider water in other states to be different things. We wouldn't consider ice to be dry water for example.

Would a single molecule of water be dry if all the other molecules around it evaporated? I suspect most people who believe "water is wet" would still consider a single molecule of water to be wet, even though it isn't actually surrounded by water... so the colloquial usage and dictionary definition appear to diverge here.
 
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Jon M
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mafman6 wrote:
Jon_1066 wrote:
Ice is not wet unless water is forming on it as it melts. Steam is not wet unless it is condensing. It is therefore perfectly possible to get dry and wet forms of water.

ice, water, and steam are different things else you would have said water water and water


You are clearly not familiar with one word having two meanings. Ice and Steam are still water. Water is the compound formed by H2O, it is also the liquid state of matter of said compound. So you can have water as ice, water or steam.

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Bryan Thunkd
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mafman6 wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
This morning, I was in the bathroom and as I turned, the belt of my bathrobe smacked a roll of toilet paper from on top of the toilet tank to actually in the toilet.

The water was very, very wet.
That sounds more like the roll of toilet paper was wet. I don't think that you can demonstrate water's "wetness" by pointing to things that get wet when put in water.

the water IS the wetness
"the paper is wet" = "the paper has water covering it" (just this grammatically wrong, hence we use the word wet)
Well, to quibble, we'd also call paper that absorbed the water wet, it's not just something that is covered by water. And grammatically you could say "The paper is covered in water." So I don't think we use "wet" simply to avoid grammatical issues.

I disagree that "the water is the wetness". Wet is a property of objects. A dog isn't wet until he comes into contact with water. His wetness has nothing to do with whether the water itself is wet or not. Even if we agreed that water itself isn't wet, we would still agree that a dog covered in water was wet.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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Jon_1066 wrote:
mafman6 wrote:
Jon_1066 wrote:
Ice is not wet unless water is forming on it as it melts. Steam is not wet unless it is condensing. It is therefore perfectly possible to get dry and wet forms of water.

ice, water, and steam are different things else you would have said water water and water


You are clearly not familiar with one word having two meanings. Ice and Steam are still water. Water is the compound formed by H2O, it is also the liquid state of matter of said compound. So you can have water as ice, water or steam.
Ice is a form of water... yet we distinguish between the words ice and water. They are not interchangable. I can apply concepts to ice, like calling it chunky, that I can't apply to water. So whether ice is wet or chunky isn't relevant to water's wetness or chunkiness.

I suspect you wouldn't agree "Water is chunky" on the basis that ice can be.
 
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Jon M
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Think of it this way. Wetness is primarily a feeling you get when you touch something. So it is an experience you have when you interact with an object - it feels wet therefore it is wet. If you dip your hand in a glass of water will it feel wet?

I would say yes - water does feel wet. In the same way hair or a dog can feel wet without being completely surrounded by water. So water is wet.
 
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1 Lucky Texan
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I heard that stuff was full of DHMO - don't mess with it.



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maf man
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Thunkd wrote:
Well, to quibble, we'd also call paper that absorbed the water wet, it's not just something that is covered by water.

its covered by water even better when we say absorbed
 
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Boaty McBoatface
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Thunkd wrote:
davypi wrote:
Back to OP, referring definition number two as cited above: since water is a liquid in most everyday circumstances I think it is safe to say that "water is wet" is a true statement in the colloquial context it was used.
The second definition is "in a liquid form or state:
wet paint." That seems to be particularly aimed at things that can exist in different states. For example, paint can be wet (liquid) or dry (solid). But water can only exist in liquid form. We consider water in other states to be different things. We wouldn't consider ice to be dry water for example.

Would a single molecule of water be dry if all the other molecules around it evaporated? I suspect most people who believe "water is wet" would still consider a single molecule of water to be wet, even though it isn't actually surrounded by water... so the colloquial usage and dictionary definition appear to diverge here.
Yet we do have dry ice.

As it is not made out of water molecules it implies that water ice is in fact "wet" ice.
 
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John Hathorn
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If I have an object that is water proof, that is surrounded by a chemical or material treatment that repels and sheds H2O, and then submerge it in water, is it wet? When I remove it from the water, it will immediately become not surrounded by, or in any way affected by, water.
 
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John Hathorn
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slatersteven wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
davypi wrote:
Back to OP, referring definition number two as cited above: since water is a liquid in most everyday circumstances I think it is safe to say that "water is wet" is a true statement in the colloquial context it was used.
The second definition is "in a liquid form or state:
wet paint." That seems to be particularly aimed at things that can exist in different states. For example, paint can be wet (liquid) or dry (solid). But water can only exist in liquid form. We consider water in other states to be different things. We wouldn't consider ice to be dry water for example.

Would a single molecule of water be dry if all the other molecules around it evaporated? I suspect most people who believe "water is wet" would still consider a single molecule of water to be wet, even though it isn't actually surrounded by water... so the colloquial usage and dictionary definition appear to diverge here.
Yet we do have dry ice.

As it is not made out of water molecules it implies that water ice is in fact "wet" ice.

That is not why dry ice is modified as "dry." It sublimates at room temperature and will never attain a liquid, or "wet," state.
 
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Jon M
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One last go:

All objects exist in two potential states - dry and wet (with perhaps damp as a subset of wet). Any object that is not one must be the other

You would not describe liquid water as dry therefore liquid water must be wet.
 
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David Jones
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Thunkd wrote:
The second definition is "in a liquid form or state:
wet paint." That seems to be particularly aimed at things that can exist in different states.


You've made an inference without sufficient evidence to back it up. Part of the problem with this whole argument is that water is almost unique in that it is one of few chemicals where we give it a different name once it changes it state of matter. Other than dry ice, I cannot think of another compound for which we have different names for the solid, liquid, and gas states of matter. I don't think its fair to come to the conclusion you have given the incredibly small set of words we have that are chemcial/state of matter dependent. Are you honestly telling me that you think "Liquid Dihydrogen Monoxide is wet" is a true statement but "Water is wet" is a false statement?

Thunkd wrote:
Would a single molecule of water be dry if all the other molecules around it evaporated? I suspect most people who believe "water is wet" would still consider a single molecule of water to be wet, even though it isn't actually surrounded by water... so the colloquial usage and dictionary definition appear to diverge here.


I think you've hit an issue for which somebody with an actual degree in chemistry is required. My understanding about states of matter is that it has to do with how tightly multiple molecules of the same substance are compacted together. I don't think a single molecule of any element or compound can actually be said to be in any one state of matter. Water, ice, and steam are all the same molecule, dihydrogen monoxide. The problem is not that colloquial and dictionary definitions disagree, the problem is that you are positing a scenario that is irrelevant to the original question being answered. I don't think people ever think about the state of matter of a single molecule in colloquial usage.
 
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