Is Licking Envelopes a Bad Habit? Leaked Truths from the Envelope Industry

In this modern world of emails and messaging apps, tradition still wins in some places. Today, we’re going to tackle a seemingly old-school topic: Is it bad to lick envelopes? You’re probably thinking, “Whoa, a 2,000-word article about the art of envelope licking? I thought we’re in the 21st century!” You’re right, dear reader, welcome to the funny little world of traditional mail. Because let’s be real — who doesn’t love receiving a handwritten letter from time to time?

And now, buckle up for a rapid roller coaster ride into the secret lives of envelope constituents and the potential perils hidden in their DNA. Grab your tongue and get ready to decide whether it’s going back there, on the licked envelope’s surface or not!

When Envelopes Are The Taste Of Nostalgia

Alright, we’ve all been there — you’re about to send out party invites, thank you notes, or the holiday greeting cards. You’re on a roll, systematically writing, folding, stuffing, sealing, and finally…licking. Squirming your face because it tastes awful, yet you do it anyway because it seems like the only way.

Relax, you’re not alone. Millions send traditional mail, whether it’s a rent check or grandma’s birthday card. And each of these millions face the same question, “Is licking envelopes actually bad?” Seemingly trivial, yet, an enigma that demands answers.

An Insiders Peek At The Envelopes’ Anatomy

Before we answer the burning question, it’s important to know what’s on the envelopes we’re zealously licking. The adhesive that gives the envelope its tacking power just by getting a bit wet lies in the realm of our interests.

Most envelope manufacturers use a type of adhesive called gum arabic, derived from the hardened sap of the acacia tree. It’s edible, fairly non-toxic and often found in candies, marshmallows, and yup, even some of your favorite soft drinks.

But as we all know, office lore and movies have often hinted at the idea that envelope glue is toxic. A famous episode of “Seinfeld” even revolved around the death of a character due to glue poisoning. Now before you freak out, remember, it’s a sitcom; they tend to exaggerate a tiny bit!

The Myth, The Legend, The Taste Of Envelope Gum

Let’s spill the beans; it’s not toxic, but it doesn’t mean the adventure of licking an envelope is all fine and dandy. Why so? It’s because while we focus on toxicity, we often ignore other factors like hygiene and taste.

Firstly, hygiene-wise, we have to remember that all envelopes were almost certainly not manufactured in a sterile environment, traveled a fair piece, potentially got dusty, and who knows what they encountered on their way to your house!

Secondly, in case you didn’t notice already, they taste horrible. We all must have grimaced at the taste at some point. The bitter flavor is mainly due to the gum arabic mixture itself. Some may say it’s an acquired taste but let’s be real, is anyone really forming an addiction for envelope-licking?

These reasons alone might make you rethink your tongue’s relationship with envelopes. Because remember, just because you can lick it doesn’t mean you should!

Alternatives To Envelope Licking

Now that I’ve potentially scared you out of your boots, let me say there are excellent alternatives to this historical tongue-touch tradition. And you don’t have to abandon traditional mail altogether!

  1. Envelope Moistener: These are cheap, easy to use devices that moisten your envelopes without the dreaded lick. It’s like having your own personal employee to do the dirty job for you – minus the salary part. Win-win!
  2. Self-Sealing Envelopes: The future is here, and it’s self-sealing envelopes. No licks, no moisteners, just peel and seal. It’s practically as easy as spamming your friends with emojis!
  3. Sponge and water: If you’re old school or just frugal, this method is perfect! Dip a small sponge or towel in water and apply it on the envelopes’ gum. Keep it simple and saliva-free!

The Wrap Up

To answer the titular question, no, it’s not inherently bad or lethal to lick envelopes. But it can be gross and quite unpleasant. We do a lot of strange things out of habit or because ‘that’s how it’s always been done.’ Licking envelopes should not necessarily be one of them.

What’s important is that you now have this unnecessary yet fascinating knowledge, and you can make your own decisions. But if you start hosting envelope-licking parties, remember — you didn’t get the idea from this blog.

As always, feel free to leave a comment on this or any other puzzling ‘mundane-turned-extraordinary’ topics you want us to explore!

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