A Modest Proposal (Terminology)

Discussion in 'Other Smoking Accessories' started by FilthyDubz, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. If this looks tl;dr to you, I suggest you just exit the thread and avoid it in the future. This discussion is meant for people who don't mind reading and writing posts that are a few paragraphs long.

    The premise: Several terms exist to refer to the rolled-up card placed into the end of a joint, allowing the entirety of the contents to be smoked without leftovers. Overwhelmingly it is called a "roach" or a "filter".

    The problem: Both of these terms are problematic. A "roach" is problematic because it simultaeously refers to the resinated, weed-filled butt of a joint rolled without such a piece of card at the end. A "filter" is problematic for two reasons: one, the same as the roach but even more so (the word has a menagerie of meanings), and two, because it is technically incorrect: nothing about the device functions as a filter, unless you consider it to be a good thing that a percentage of the resin/THC/active chemicals you were attempting to smoke have now deposited onto an unsmokable piece of paper.

    There is a further argument against calling it a filter. The only possible functions of the device are threefold:

    1) to collect resin or otherwise lighten the smoke
    2) to restrict the airflow through the joint
    3) to allow all the weed in the joint to be smoked without using clips or breaking up the roach into a bowl.

    The first two of these functions is achieved identically by the joint being weed up to its end instead of having a piece of rolled up card there, so these reasons cannot be valid. Otherwise, I could roll a vanilla, all-weed no-card joint, and arbitrarily refer to the very end of it as a filter. Or, I could call the entire joint a filter. There is no distinction. I say you can't accurately call something a filter, if more weed in its place would perform the same function.


    The proposal: We ought to have a specific and accurate term which unquestionably refers to this piece of card/paper, and doesn't grossly repurpose another word like "filter" or "roach" for lack of a better name. We simply need to agree on a better name.

    My initial suggestion, which others will undoubtedly improve upon: How about a compound word which captures the spirit of "roach" for the butt of a joint, but allows distinguishing a traditional joint and one with a paper card ending. As a man who only uses a paper insert in his joints when he is travelling or riding in a vehicle where it is undesirable to have a normal roach left over, I propose "road-roach". However, I also see zero need to use a paper insert, and find many benefits to having some regular roaches left over. So my term involves that assumption. Those who disagree with my preference, but see merit in the rest of this post, may be able to propose an even better term. Those who disagree with a substantial part of what I have said here, I encourage you to reply. If we make a friendly debate about this it should provide the reader with some interesting thoughts or a look at the historical words of the stoner culture, if nothing else.
  2. It's called a 'crutch' around here. :confused_2:
  3. The idea for the post came to me the other night while driving and smoking one such joint. In my (limited) area of the country a term like "crutch" is unheard of.

    That was one problem I thought of while writing that post. The terms probably exist already. My argument is, we need to pick one or a few and start using them accurately, but more importantly stop using "roach" and "filter" to refer to this piece of card. Perhaps it is all a minor peeve. Contributing all the local terms you've heard will help. How fortunate if you live somewhere where this has already begun and the most common term is one other than the two I mentioned.

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