[lit-ideas] Re: Restroom research

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 27 May 2004 11:36:10 EDT

In a message dated 5/25/2004 10:15:33 AM Eastern Standard Time,  
donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx writes:
Of  course, as a skirt-wearing Eddie Izzard type this semiological  approach
works for me - 
Then there are places which have (as R. Paul would call them)  
'gender-neutral' restrooms. I think they are best.
Of course, too, 'restroom' is a euphemism. More research from the OED,  
below. 'restoom' qua WC is an 'implicature' -- 'euphemism' as  
a la Grice/Horn --. Literally, a restroom is a  rest_ing_-room. (Cf. 
'living-room': the other rooms are to die?)
The first cite of 'rest-room' is 1899, and it meant (then), 'room to rest'  
(as opposed to 'sleep', that's _bed_-room).
From the OED:
rest  room, 
(a) a room (usu. in a public building) set aside for rest and quiet; 
(b) U.S. a lavatory, a W.C.; 
1899 Amer.  Jrnl. Sociol. May 729 
Surely it would not  be unreasonable to require that suitable rest-rooms be 
provided for the  employés. 
1918 A. BENNETT Pretty  Lady xxvii. 182 
Canteens, and  rest-rooms, and libraries, and sanitation, and all this damned 
1942 â??M. INNESâ??  Daffodil Affair  III. 103 
His private research  block.. comprised a library, a museum, rest rooms and 
living quarters for the  subjects. 
1955 W. GADDIS  Recognitions  I. iii. 100 
If you serve food  you gotta have a rest room for ladies as well as men. 
1975 N.Y.  Times 8 Nov. 26/2 
The totally  unsubstantiated forecasts of effects ranging from the abolition 
of women's rest  rooms to dire financial consequences may well have persuaded 
many women that it  was safer to accept known evils than to risk unknown 

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