Opinion: Yes, Water is Wet

Staff Writer Wyatt Zwik

Staff Writer Wyatt Zwik

Staff Writer Wyatt Zwik

By Wyatt Zwik, Staff Writer

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When someone states the obvious, a commonplace, somewhat snarky response is, “water is wet.” However, this saying has come under scrutiny recently, with many arguing against its validity. Recently, our newsroom erupted into debate about this seemingly obvious point. So, to clear the confusion, I would like to say that yes, water is undoubtedly wet, both by its literal definition and its physical properties.

Wet as a word quite literally comes from water. The earliest recorded version of the word, wed- comes from Proto-Indo-European (aka PIE), the hypothetical common ancestor to all Indo-European languages. Wed- in it’s most basic form means water in PIE and is where the basis of the word “wet” comes from.

The definition of  water also supports the fact that water is unquestionably wet. One of the definitions of water, according to the Merriam Webster dictionary is, “to moisten, sprinkle, or soak with water.” Moisten, sprinkle, and soak are just synonyms for “wet,” denoting water as wet.

Since water makes other things wet, water itself must be wet, right? Think about it. Fire has a pretty big tendency to make things hot, so fire itself must be hot. The same rule applies to water; since it makes things wet, it must be wet. Obviously this does not necessarily apply to every case, but in general, it works with water. When someone jumps into a pool, they instantly become wet when in the pool. The water acts on that person making them wet, since water is inherently wet.

As an avid supporter of the notion that water is not wet, junior Muhammad Afzal thinks that the definition of “wet” nullifies the ability of water to be wet.

“Water is not wet. The definition of wet is ‘covered or saturated with water or another liquid.’ Wet describes the action of water or another liquid on the surface of an object,” Afzal said. “Water as a being does not represent itself as being wet. You can’t have water on water, that’s just water.”

However, there are multiple things wrong with this statement. Water on water is water, that’s correct. Since water is made up of molecules of H20 combining, water is inherently itself. And by the aforementioned definition, since the molecules make up water, it is wet.

Physics teacher Anthony Comstock explains the real science behind why water is wet.

“In my expert opinion, water is wet because objects become wet when they interact with water. It’s a property of the water, that it can make things wet,” Comstock said. “Something cannot be wet if there is no water involved. It’s pretty much the same reason that salt would also be salty, because if you eat this food and you’re like, ‘hey, that’s got way too much salt,’ you would describe it as salty. It’s the same exact thing with water. Water is wet because that’s what water does. You cannot have something be wet without water present there.”

Overall, water is objectively wet, by both definition and science.

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