Posted February 2023 MTCO article "Fair and Square" by Rob Carver

January 30, 2023 9:05 AM | Vincent Valvo (Administrator)

Fair and Square

Rob Carver

I really like this article.  I'm interested in etymology although I'm not an etymologist by any stretch of the imagination.  So when I read Rob's latest MTCO article, I enjoyed the research and the sometimes contradictory meanings of "fair" and "square".  Clearly, in woodworking we use these terms often, especially square, which is the objective we strive for.

These terms outside woodworking can mean other things.  Before the mid-20th century these words used separately had a positive, just, unblemished, righteous meaning.  I remember my cub scout pledge was "to be square".  But since then "fair" and "square" have largely been used as mediocre and old-fashioned, respectively.  Are we woodworkers carrying on an idealized notion of "fair" and "square"?  I don't want to be cynical by saying that this is a tiny but symptomatic example of degrading norms -- but I wonder.  Outside of woodworking, what was once a compliment is evolving to be something to be avoided.

Read all about it in Fair and Square.

You can reach Rob for comments and additional information, by clicking Rob Carver.

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