Why does the word "vat" always seem to have a negative connotation?

Is it just me or does it seem like the word “vat” is usually used in the context of something unpleasant, gross, cheap, or otherwise negative?

It seems like the word just conjures up images of mass-factory-produced slop - and the fact that a vat is used for containing liquids means that whatever is in question would have to be in a liquid form, and liquids are generally more inherently “gross” than solids are.

I think the thing here is that “vat” is taken to mean “giant tank,” and the idea is that anything in a giant tank must be treated in an industrial, mass-produced, hands-off manner as opposed to being hand-crafted and stored in small bottles or something.

I probably sound crazy, or high (I swear, I’m not,) but in reading the thread about the vat-grown meat I couldn’t help but ponder the fact that “vat” always seems to be used derisively. Am I onto something here?

You may be on to something.

Carl Jung dreamed about a vat of shit: http://www.breakoutofthebox.com/metaphors.htm

Then, there’s brains in a vat: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/brain-vat/
and http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/ramachandran06/ramachandran06_index.html and http://www.cavehill.uwi.edu/bnccde/ph29a/putnam.html

As you mention, there’s meat grown in a vat: http://www.technovelgy.com/ct/Science-Fiction-News.asp?NewsNum=414

And then there’s the Duke of Clarence (unlucky title that; nobody who bore it seems to have turned out well) being drowned in a vat of malmsey.

There’s a bar in Alberta, Canada named The Vat. Looks like it might attract a rough crowd.

I hate paying VAT in the UK, but I don’t think that’s what you mean.

OTOH, Vat 69 is a fairly decent scotch

I believe that was a butt of malmsey.

Heh. She said “butt.” Heh.

What are the containers at the factory in Hershey, PA called?

The word “vat” is used for both edibles and non-edibles, perhaps more often for non-edibles. Contrast that with the word “kettle”, which somehow has all the charm that “vat” lacks. Breweries brew their beer in giant copper vats, but they call them “kettles”. Certain brands of gourmet potato chips advertise themselves as being “kettle cooked”. Has a homey ring to it.

Heh, I just popped in to mention The Vat, I sure didn’t expect someone to beat me too it!

It just so happens that I live a few blocks from The Vat… It’s a fun place to hang out, and they book a lot of local musical talent and other indie type bands. If anyone happens to be in Red Deer on a Sunday night, make sure to check out Open Mike night!

The latest heir of that line seems to be doing OK…