Friday, April 3, 2009

Finding the right words

As you may know, I'm a librarian. Theoretically, I'm good at wading through the mass of junk to find the desired information. In practice, this is usually true, but there's one word that has been giving me real trouble - antique.

Somewhere along the way, someone decided that "antique" was the perfect word to describe the finish the finish on a bit of plumbing hardware. As a result, when trying to search for, say, antique plumbing fixtures on eBay, in the category Home & Garden > Tools & Home Improvement > Plumbing & Fixtures (because this seems to be where all the good stuff is), you get too many new fixtures with an "antique" finish. Within this category, decent results can be obtained by searching for "(vintage,antique) -new" and limiting to auctions.

However, there are many other areas of eBay where things are not limited so easily. Further, larger plumbing fixtures like tubs and sinks might be better procured locally, via Craigslist, which cannot be limited so easily. The word "vintage" seems to be one generally agreed upon replacement, but it's not so widely used as to be reliable.

What will we do when people start referring to something as having a "vintage" finish?


Why S? said...

We'll start using the word "olde."

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