Word Wars

So if you have been reading my blog for a while you may have come across my occasional apologies for my poor editing. I have never been good at it. You can go back a High School teacher of mine who would scream at me, because he thought I that was a good and excited writer yet a terrible editor. He was right, but my problems is that I just don't see the errors, hell the only reason I catch most misspellings is because Firefox highlights them. I just don't work that way.

Anyhoo, Jessie over at The (Mud)Bucket posted this the other day, bringing up a semantic argument in the relm of ceramics.


Debate: 'Ceramicist' vs. 'Ceramist'

Okay, perhaps this is just a pet peeve of mine, but I can't stand it when people use the term ceramicist.

Bottom line? It's incorrect!

And it sounds dumb.

And it shows a general lack of respect for our profession and community.

The worst is when ceramists themselves use the term. Ugh! Even worse is that people have been using the incorrect term for so long that spell check doesn't even work on it...

I've told a million people and I'll tell everyone reading here:

Saying ceramicist is like saying artisist.

Get it? See, it is stupid.

I dunno... What does everyone else think? Is it silly for me to be so bothered?

I fully admit to committing her crime. But I also think that language becomes what works. It is an evolutionary system. 
What does everyone think?

BTW if you don't read Jessie's Blog you should. She has a great blog and puts the focus on artists that she likes.


pcNielsen said...

I vaguely remember hearing "ceramist" was correct in the not so distant past. But it's hard to say, which is odd because it's shorter. What is it about that extra syllable in "ceramacist" that makes it easier to say? And I don't think I can agree that the word in error is the equivalent of "artisists." That just doesn't jive with me.

And I think it does come down to the monster that is American English. I remember one thing, above all others, from my linguistics course in college: American English changes very quickly, much more quickly than basically every other language.

Perhaps that is why we latch on to words that aren't proper, and turn them into the real thing. And, FWIW, I think I use the term "ceramic artist" more than any other.

Studio Terrafemina said...

Poor editing can be chalked up to "creative license" is all... no worries man!
As fpr the ceramisits thing you have going on there... well I have called myself that when I am feeling the need to bust open the simpleton image of "a potter". Frankly, there is a notice-able mood shift when I call myself a ceramicists versus a potter. One has a more Taa-Daaah-scientist-extraordinaire kinda feel to it and the other has a more I wear Birkenstocks-year-'round-because-I-like-it kinda feel... know what I mean Jelly Bean?
And, well, there are times I am a scientist-extraordinaire and there are times when only my Birks will do
I do indeed switch it up when the need for a more formal stereotype is called for!
Don't judge me too harshly... just love me for who I am, K?
From Vancouver Island
(the smaller the Island the groovey-er the Chick)

lisawbwalker said...

TO continue the conversation about ceramist versus potter... is it like being a painter vs a "house" painter? Are both artists? What is the difference between taking a ceramics class and a pottery class? I once used the term ceramic artist and was told it was one who painted at one of those paint and chats ....

Studio Terrafemina said...

Oh ya! I forgot about that one. "Ceramics" Those who paint Gnomes, wizards & dragons and such all the while gossiping, chugging really weak stinky coffee as the cigarettes smolder away either dangling from their withered lips or in the over flowing ash tray. I confess I have seen that first hand quite a few years back!
Somehow it ties in with bad brown swirly carpet, phycadellic orange wall paper, and fuzzy slippers & and slippery quilted house coats...
ewww... 1970's maybe?
Funny we are ... us Humans. Pick pick pick huh?

John Shirley said...

quite correct. I am and always will be a ceramist. I never wanted to be a potterer anyway!

Mickey said...

Hah!...never wanted to be a potter indeed! LOL
*big grin*