I was playing Nethack last night, and mind you, I'm a beginner. In a desperate attempt to get some food in me, I mashed the e button and hit a random key. Unfortunately, I downed a rotten newt corpse, became poisoned, and as a result, died from said food poisoning. I decided to read over my attributes when I noticed I had Poison Resistance. Yet, here I was, dead from food *poison*ing.
I asked about this in the Nethack IRC chat room. They stated that food poisoning wasn't the poison I thought it was, which would be a substance on a weapon or a trap. I brought it up with my friend, who reiterated the above points, even saying that poison would be something like eating even a fresh Water Moccasin corpse.
I understand that, within the context of Nethack, the developers may consider these two different methods of poison, and that poison resistance only works against one method over the other. However, being someone interested in Biology, I am intuitively using the real-world definition of poison in my approach to the game.
A poison is a substance that becomes harmful when ingested or inhaled or absorbed. Venom is a substance that becomes harmful when injected directly into the skin. People use these words interchangeably in an informal context. You might hear someone say "Don't get close that to that snake! It's poisonous." but the correct biological definition is that it's venomous. The same goes for incorrect usages of the words venom and venomous.
I accept that food poisoning is a different kind of poisoning in Nethack, of which is not insured against by my poison resistance. But, to someone who approaches this game understanding the difference, this could be confusing, as the terms are used incorrectly to the real-world definitions.
So, my question here is, do you guys agree that Nethack uses these terms incorrectly to the real-world definitions, and that they have their own redefinition of the terms to exclude food poisoning from being combated by poison resistance? That's all I need to prove my case, that the definitions in Nethack are not the same as they are in real-life, and that I am not necessarily in the wrong for intuitively assuming food poisoning would be resisted.
As a suggestion, I think Nethack would benefit from renaming Food Poisoning to Food Sickness or the general words "Sickness" or "Illness".