What is the meaning or an appropriate synonym for "watered down" in this context?

Here is the typical usage of Twitter by a brand that doesn't understand the medium:

• Posts once a day with bland content that's created on the hoof or watered down by legal team. https://econsultancy.com/blog/67464-why-email-is-the-king-of-one-to-one-marketing

Merriam Webster offers: cut, dilute, extend, lace, sophisticate, thin, adulterate, weaken.

In this context, it sounds like the connotation is more along the lines of "deprived of expression"...

What do you think?

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  • What's the objection to watered down? – Lawrence Mar 11 '16 at 17:14
  • It means exactly the same with regard to language as it does with regard to beer. – Hot Licks Mar 11 '16 at 19:04

OK, first of all, even though I took the time to format and edit it, this post is very fishy, so it may get shot down by users who think it's spam.

But to answer the question, the phrase itself, watered down, simply means that its subject has been stripped of its original quality.

In this context, the legal team is 'watering down' Twitter posts to make them less defamatory or more politically correct in order to avoid legal issues.

As for an appropriate contextual synonym, if you want to be very colloquial (or vulgar) about it, you could say that these posts are being wussified or pussified.


Synonym of "watered down": bowdlerized

Bowdlerize definition: to expurgate (a text or a speech) by omitting or modifying parts considered vulgar, objectionable or potentially offensive.

Origin: 1836, from Thomas Bowdler (1754-1825), English editor who in 1818 published a notorious expurgated Shakespeare, in which, according to his frontispiece, "nothing is added to the original text. But those words and expressions omitted which cannot with propriety be read aloud in a family."

Example: "Pass the Kouchie" is a song recorded by reggae group "the Mighty Diamonds", that deals with the recreational use of cannabis (kouchie being slang for a cannabis pipe). For the cover version, the song's title was bowdlerized to "Pass the Dutchie", and all obvious drug references were removed from the lyrics, e.g. when the original croons "How does it feel when you got no herb?", the cover version refers to "food" instead.

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