Let’s face it, noses aren’t the most edifying organ of the body are they? They’re protuberances, pure and simple. And they contain stuff that you wouldn’t want spreading on your breakfast toast, right? Right. Not even if it comes from your own nose.
As for the term ‘runny’, well… ‘Viscous’ is a little suspicious, but at least it’s scientific and usually used in the context of relativity. ‘Runny’ is just nasty. Water is never described as ‘runny’, nor beer or blood or Coca-Cola. That’s because these things are meant to have low viscosity; they’re designed by nature or human artifice to run freely in their natural state. The term ‘runny’ is applied to things which don’t run freely in their natural state. Like the contents of a nose, for example. And that hints at something gone wrong, something disreputable and disturbing and therefore disgusting.
Put the two words together and you begin to sense the imminent onset of moans combined with the unpleasant odour of stomach contents making the return journey.
Not nice. And that’s why I never tell anybody I have a runny nose. I don’t mind being disliked in the least, but being thought disgusting is unacceptable.