Guest Column | August 31, 2015

The Black Lagoon Or The Blue Lagoon?

Jim Lauria

By Jim Lauria

2015-08-18_The Black Lagoon or the Blue Lagoon

To men of a certain age, the word “lagoon” conjures two very different images. In the first, it’s the Creature from the Black Lagoon — a scary gill-man emerging from the ooze. In the other, it’s the idyllic Blue Lagoon, with Brooke Shields frolicking in an island fantasyland.

The word “lagoon” in the wastewater realm hints at similar dissonance. Just the wording that industry uses to describe its mass wastewater containment hints at how we try to bury our mixed feelings beneath language. If trying to convey the tropical paradise sense of “lagoon” doesn’t work, some people call them “ponds,” as if we’re going to spend a day on the bank fishing for sunfish and perch.