Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I recently microwaved a plastic glass to get rid of micro-organisms on it. I accidentally dropped the glass after taking it out. I said "Damn it! This glass is not sane anymore!"

Am I right in saying that?

Usually the word sanitary is used in contexts like that. But, is it still right if I use the word sane? Does American English allow me to use the word "sane" it that sentence?

share|improve this question

closed as off-topic by Pitarou, Peter Shor , mplungjan, Andrew Leach, Brian Hooper Nov 12 '13 at 8:47

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic. A list of these references can be found here: List of general references" – Pitarou, Peter Shor , mplungjan, Andrew Leach, Brian Hooper
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

1  
Voting to close. Google "define:sane". –  Pitarou Nov 12 '13 at 5:46
2  
No it is not. Sane is referring to sanity and not to hygiene. You could say it is no longer hygienic. On another note I do question the sanity of microwaving plastic glasses, if there is any moisture on the glass, the heat would likely melt the container in a microwave –  mplungjan Nov 12 '13 at 6:47
    
Why close? Sanity issues or sanitary problems? –  Kris Nov 12 '13 at 7:00
1  
I'd say the plastic glass was no longer germ free. I can't imagine myself in a situation saying a contaminated object is "not sane". Come to think of it, contaminated is the word you should have used. –  Mari-Lou A Nov 12 '13 at 7:18
1  
The Spanish word sano translates both to sane and healthy or clean in English... perhaps you just need to swear in Spanish instead! –  Flimzy Nov 12 '13 at 21:31

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I'd say the plastic glass was no longer germ free. I can't imagine myself in a situation saying a contaminated object is "not sane". Come to think of it, contaminated, is the word you should have used.

share|improve this answer
3  
    
Okay, okay. I get it. :) –  riship89 Nov 12 '13 at 8:39
1  
@riship89: This answer can no longer accept new posts, but - the usual word for "germ-free" would be "sterile" –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Nov 12 '13 at 17:01
    
@BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft sterile fits better with the OP's exclamation. –  Mari-Lou A Nov 12 '13 at 17:12

The Latin root sanus has both the meanings: healthy, sane.

However, sanitized has been adopted to refer to free from germs (hence healthy), while sane remains confined to a mentally healthy sense only.

English being so today, you cannot help but say 'it is not sanitized anymore,' though you could argue that sane is valid considering its roots:

sane (adj.) Used earlier, of the body, with the sense of "healthy" (1620s)

share|improve this answer
4  
No, you could not argue that. That would be in-sane –  mplungjan Nov 12 '13 at 7:25

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.