Thursday, June 16, 2022

Word Avoidance

Did you just say what I think you said?

No, because this tree actually smells like semen, but nobody will ever say that out loud, or in print, so instead they call it rotting fish.

Tree that smells like rotting fish is so invasive states are offering bounties to kill it
Dec 2021, Bangor Daily News

And they're talking about the Bradford pear tree, which sucks as a tree, and is a great example of how good marketing can destroy the planet (or at least your charming downtown neighborhood).

Somebody was really successful circa the 1990's at selling these trees to urban planners looking to revitalize their downtowns with nice shade trees that have infrastructure-friendly root structures and "they even bloom pretty white flowers!" (that smell like a handful of hot semen for a couple weeks out of the year). The problem is that they only live about 30 years, they're brittle so their limbs break off easily, they're invasive so they make the soil inhospitable to other plants, and they multiply ferociously when you try to cut them down. Also their flowers smell like semen when they bloom, but nobody will tell you that, because nobody wants to say out loud that anything smells like semen. In fact, if you, for example, were anosmic to semen, you might go your entire life without knowing, because nobody ever talks about it. 

The Victorians would have called it "a man smell."

Post Script:
Also see the Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima), which is another invasive and foul-smelling tree.

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