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Words for Woodworking that Make me Barf by Christopher Schwarz

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Forum topic by Rich posted 11-17-2017 07:52 PM 404 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rich

1970 posts in 422 days


11-17-2017 07:52 PM

Topic tags/keywords: humor

I chose to post the content in addition to the link. I hope Mr. Schwarz doesn’t mind. If you like it, click on the link to give PWW its traffic. https://www.popularwoodworking.com/woodworking-blogs/chris-schwarz-blog/words-woodworking-make-barf

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I love to look at websites of woodworkers – amateurs and professionals – and see photos of their work. But when they describe their work using the following words, I think:

This person is a pompous wee-wee head with a fake underbite and who walks like they are carrying a corncob without using their hands.

You might disagree – that’s what the comments are for. But here is my list of dumb words that are overused on the websites of furniture makers.

Atelier: It’s a fancy French word for “studio” or “workshop.” Don’t try to teach your customers how to speak another language unless you are a language instructor. I love the French language. It’s gorgeous. Ham-mouthed Americans should keep their gums off it.

Artisanal: I knew this word was done for when I saw it being used thusly: Artisanal Urinal Cakes. It doesn’t mean anything, except that you posit yourself a fancy lad.

Bespoke: An old word, usually used in tailoring, that is sadly on the rise. It’s somehow worse than “artisanal,” like you got a PhD from the Fancy Lad Academy & Atelier.

Curated: Gag. Just gag me with a bespoke spoon. If you don’t work for a museum, you don’t curate squat.

Upcycled: This means you build stuff out of garbage.

Purveyors: This means you do something better than “selling.” Perhaps to “purvey” means your store’s receipts and shipping boxes are festooned with ruffles? Or you work in the shop with a powdered wig? Or you call to your customers: “Perchance mayest I help you?”

Boutique: (see atelier) You are not qualified to use French.

Master: If you use this word to describe yourself, and you don’t have a certificate that explains your qualifications, then you aren’t a master. You are a wiener. “Master” is a real word that has been made meaningless by self-important fancy boys.

Award-winning: I’ve been on tons of panels that hand out furniture and writing awards, and I know these are stupid. Let your work speak for itself. Getting an “award” means you paid a fee to have other people applaud your prompt fee-payment.

Artist in Wood: You build stuff. Let others decide if it’s art.

Hand-selected, hand-whatever, handmade, handcrafted: These words are unnecessary. Do you build stuff with your feet? Your elbows? Until our robot overlords run the Ikea MDF slave factories, all furniture is made with the assistance of hands. If you don’t use electrical tools in your work, you probably should find a different way to describe what you do.

Giving your pieces obscure names: If you call one of your chairs: “Inchon and the Fox Philanderers, No. 12,” then maybe you are qualified to teach at the Fancy Lad Academy and Bespoke Charcuterie Boutique.

— Christopher Schwarz

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.


8 replies so far

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

2909 posts in 2941 days


#1 posted 11-17-2017 08:42 PM

Too funny!

One can buy “Artisan” romaine lettuce at the local CostCo. I wonder if they grow it in their ateliers?

-- Random Orbital Nailer

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pintodeluxe

5455 posts in 2646 days


#2 posted 11-17-2017 08:45 PM

I think Nancy Hiller strikes a good balance with her English arts and crafts articles. She knows how to use big words in the right dose. For me, she pontificates just a spoonful.

I hear you though, a gallon of good medicine is too much when a spoonful will do.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10598 posts in 2213 days


#3 posted 11-17-2017 09:13 PM

Curate is a common word, it just means someone put together a collection they thought will be interesting. Schwarz is probably taking potshots at people who did the same toward him. There’s a lot of snarkiness among authors. He comes from humble beginnings and probably does hate pretense. He’s right about awards, they are generally bought, one way or another.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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Rich

1970 posts in 422 days


#4 posted 11-17-2017 09:54 PM


He s right about awards, they are generally bought, one way or another.

- Rick_M

My work was voted best in Tucson 10 years in a row.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4799 posts in 3793 days


#5 posted 11-17-2017 10:15 PM

I don’t read blogs. Too visual.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10598 posts in 2213 days


#6 posted 11-17-2017 10:45 PM



My work was voted best in Tucson 10 years in a row.
- Rich

Your wife doesn’t count!

<kidding>

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

3634 posts in 2241 days


#7 posted 11-18-2017 03:33 AM

Enjoyed this!! Great post!

About award winning he is my take:

We had a saying in the Marines. A man gives you a medal he wants you to die for your country. If a man gives you a extra magazine of ammo, he wants to see you back safe and sound.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Rich's profile

Rich

1970 posts in 422 days


#8 posted 11-18-2017 07:58 PM

Don’t forget that you can also comment on the PWW site. Link is in the OP. Looks like they have some activity on there already.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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