January 20th, 2015


Tuesday Word: poltophagy

In addition to the concept of examining feces in order to ascertain one’s level of health, Horace Fletcher, Victorian-era health guru, gave us poltophagy, or the act of chewing food until it achieves the consistency of porridge. I don’t know about you, but he strikes me as having been a man intent upon unnecessarily complicating things. Downing a burrito in a single gulp is obviously a bad idea, and if the contents of your toilet bowl are routinely shocking, you should probably take notice. There has to be a happy medium, however, between eating like a snake and chewing your food at a rate of 100 times per minute, or nonchalantly flushing gallon after gallon of rainbow-colored excrement and texting pictures with the caption “Hey guys, do you think I have bowel cancer?” to your friends after every bathroom break. May we all find them, lest our habits drive away any kind feelings we have managed to inspire and we find ourselves all alone in the world.

Poltophagy comes from the Greek poltos (porridge) and the combining form of phagein (to eat).