Water isn’t wet

By Sheenah Nela

Christopher Allen has stirred up a lot of controversy over water being wet. For the last time, it is not wet. And Christopher is wrong.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of wet is “consisting of, containing, covered with, or soaked with liquid” (such as water). To say that something is “wet” is to suggest that there is water on the surface of that something. That would mean water isn’t wet; the item the water is on is wet. If our friend Christopher purposefully spills water on you because he is dumb, you say ‘Oh no! My clothes got wet.’ You cannot say ‘the water is wet,’ because the water itself is not wet. Your clothes are wet.

If you were a true American, you would agree that water is not wet. Christopher is not, therefore he thinks water is wet.

Consider another example: fire. Fire burns things, but itself is not burned. Like fire, water gets things wet, but is not wet itself. You cannot splash water droplets on to water and see the water droplets saying ‘oh the water is wet’.

Humans have somehow found a way to associate water with wetness by our experiences. We, or our possessions, ‘get wet’. Any fluid could claim to be wet if wetness is a sensation caused by the movement of a fluid over your skin. But have you ever noticed that you can’t feel wetness if you hold your hand perfectly still while it is submerged, or that a drop of water on the skin doesn’t feel wet? That is because water has made your skin wet, but the water is not wet.

Water isn’t wet, but in the sense of being a liquid which flows easily, because its viscosity (having thick or sticky consistency) is low, which is because the molecules are loosely joined together. Christopher probably doesn’t understand that so I will make it easier for him.

Water is not wet.

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