Tuesday, October 11, 2022

October Daily 11

 


Have you noticed the increased use of the word "curated?" It seems that nowadays one can have a meticulously curated closet, carefully curated music, and read a marvelously curated menu at a restaurant. Doing a little desultory research, I discovered that curated is relatively new to the English language, first used in print in 1990. 

Before 1990 the use of curate indicated a parish priest who was charged with the care of souls. A later form of the word is curator, indicating someone who "oversees or manages a place" such as a museum or a zoo. This is often the person who chooses the art or animals. 
 

The question arises, can one curate anything? According to this article by Merriam Webster, maybe so, maybe not. 

I could say that I carefully curated the fabrics for the quilt I finally completed today. However, I used a variety of scraps - pieces of Tim's dress shirts, remnants from sewing children's clothing, etc, so that can hardly be called curated. 

The use of the word is increasing and causing some discomfort to English purists. I know that I find it somewhat pretentious, and there is nothing wrong with just saying "chosen", as in, "She has a carefully chosen collection of dahlias." 

My own dahlia collection is eclectic and that little pompom dahlia at the top is a tiny one, just 1 1/2 inches across. It has been in a pot, and I find they do better in the ground, so that's where it will go next year. 


How shocked I was to look out my kitchen window and see the clematis (General Sikorski) blooming again! That has never happened before. I also noticed new buds forming on my (carefully curated) rosebushes. 

Have you noticed the increased use of 'curated'? Do you find it jarring or odd?

12 comments:

  1. There are a few words lately that are overused and I agree about curated. Somewhat pretentious I feel. I love your little pom-pom dahlia it looks like a very dark red one we have. Our dahlias are just coming back after our very hot dry summer. I’m hoping they’ll do better next year. Your quilt is beautiful. You are very clever at all your sewing projects. B x

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  2. This post reminds me of a book I am currently reading. "The Dictionary of Lost Words" by Pip Williams. It is an historical fictional novel about creating the first Oxford Dictionary. It is set in Oxford in the late 1800's.

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  3. I have never used the word curated and don’t ever expect to. It sounds pretentious.

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  4. I like the word, but rarely use it. As you say, other words are more easily understood. Do you dig up dahlia tubers in the fall?

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  5. I agree in that it is a bit pretentious. Like yours, my garden is full of surprises this fall. The columbine are blooming and the roses are still putting out new growth and buds!

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  6. It sounds pretty artificial to me. It's amazing how people latch onto a word or phrase and use it ad infinitum. I remember a few years ago at business meetings it seemed that everyone talked about "going forward", as in "our marketing strategy going forward". Often it was redundant and always sounded pretentious - sometimes downright silly. Almost as bad as "reaching out"!

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  7. We have been watching our DVDs of When Calls the heart and as much as I love the shows, it is distracting when they use 'modern phrases'! But it's still better entertainment than regular tv! I love your quilt...the colors are so soft and comforting!

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  8. Your quilt and your dahlia gardens are both beautifully "put together." (That' what those of us who can't think of the right word might use!) I prefer the middle ground -- collected.!

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  9. I haven't noticed the word 'curated' and I'm certain I won't be using it. Your quilt is very lovely and special because of the fabrics you've used.

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  10. That was wonderful, Lorrie! I've noticed that children often question the origin or meaning of a word while I take it for granted and there is always an interesting history behind every word. The quilt, through careful curation of chance, is fantastic and I love that dahlia. Long may it bloom.
    Amalia
    xo

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  11. I really haven’t noticed the word Curated, all that much. The word I hear so much is Organic for everything. Your quilt is so impressive with using scraps and Tim’s shirts. It is truly lovely.

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  12. Love how you curated that quilt. :) It really is lovely and calls to me.

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