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Old 01-01-2018, 12:59 PM
contumacious contumacious is offline
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Art terms that have changed their meaning over time

While typing something about "Dryers" used in oil paints I realized that I wasn't sure which word was the correct one to use to describe a dryer such as Cobalt that is added to paint to speed the curing time. I used the word drier at first but after looking it up, it appears I was incorrect, sort of.

You will find the word Drier used quite often even by professional paint makers, in place of the supposedly correct word - Dryer.

A Dryer is something that makes things drier. (More dry)
dry·er
ˈdrī(ə)r/
noun
noun: dryer; plural noun: dryers; noun: drier; plural noun: driers
  1. 1.
    a machine or device for drying something, especially the hair or laundry.
  2. 2.
    a substance mixed with oil paint or ink to promote drying.
dry

drī/
adjective
comparative adjective: drier
1.
free from moisture or liquid; not wet or moist.
"the jacket kept me warm and dry"
synonyms:parched, dried, withered, shriveled, wilted, wizened

And now to the "sort of" reference above:

http://grammarist.com/usage/drier-dryer/

The words were once interchangeable. The distinction crept into the language through the 20th century and has only recently solidified. Some dictionaries still list the words as variants of each other, but the words are almost always kept separate in 21st-century publications.

Another one is "Gesso". Years ago Gesso was the label for a different material than what the average artist thinks of today - Acrylic "Gesso" - when they see that word.

Can you come up with more art related terms, descriptions or words with changed usage, definitions or perceptions over the years?

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Old 01-01-2018, 03:16 PM
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Artchrispy Artchrispy is offline
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Re: Art terms that have changed their meaning over time

The word 'impressionism' was originally intended as an insult.

'noun: impressionism
Origin
from French impressionnisme, from impressionniste, originally applied unfavorably with reference to Monet's painting Impression: Soleil levant (1872).'
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Old 01-01-2018, 05:33 PM
DaveCrow DaveCrow is offline
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Re: Art terms that have changed their meaning over time

"Modern Art" according to Wikipedia refers to art from the 1860s-1970s. The term is usually associated with art in which the traditions of the past have been thrown aside in a spirit of experimentation.

"Modern" is defined by Webster's as "a : of, relating to, or characteristic of the present or the immediate past : contemporary "

So art that is modern is not Modern Art. Or at least it may not be.
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Old 01-01-2018, 05:55 PM
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Re: Art terms that have changed their meaning over time

Well, I discovered by accident the other day that the word 'painting' is a sexual term used by gay men.

I doubt if it was used centuries ago but who knows.
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Old 01-02-2018, 12:48 PM
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Re: Art terms that have changed their meaning over time

Of course I had to look it up, hmm so thanks for that little tidbit Katie
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Old 01-03-2018, 05:26 PM
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Re: Art terms that have changed their meaning over time

You could always use "siccatif" (or siccative, in English) instead.

Acrylic gesso is distinct from gesso, and the artist who doesn't understand that distinction needs to go back to school. The two aren't interchangeable and acrylic gesso isn't really gesso at all.
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Old 01-03-2018, 05:35 PM
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Re: Art terms that have changed their meaning over time

As a so-called "English major" with some interest in Linguistics, I feel that the first case mentioned is simply how nouns can be turned into adjectives and verbs by the addition and subtraction of affixes and prefixes. (Yah know all that technical linguistic stuff). The second case is a prefix necessary to indicate a comparative. Dry, Drier, Driest (etc.). This is a totally different set of Prefixes.

The English Language is a "Living Language" and therefore constantly changing due to usage.

Awesome!!!
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Old 01-04-2018, 02:46 PM
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Re: Art terms that have changed their meaning over time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie Black
Well, I discovered by accident the other day that the word 'painting' is a sexual term used by gay men.

I doubt if it was used centuries ago but who knows.

I wish I hadn't posted that.

Sometimes I do things impulsively and without thought...sorry, I hope I haven't offended anyone.
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Old 01-05-2018, 11:44 AM
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Re: Art terms that have changed their meaning over time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie Black
I wish I hadn't posted that.

Sometimes I do things impulsively and without thought...sorry, I hope I haven't offended anyone.

Why? I don't see anything offensive on your post and that was an interesting information about how words change meaning overtime.
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Old 01-05-2018, 11:50 AM
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Re: Art terms that have changed their meaning over time

I don't think you need to get it deleted it's informative and people don't have to look it up
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Old 01-05-2018, 12:29 PM
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Re: Art terms that have changed their meaning over time

Thanks ladies!
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Old 01-06-2018, 10:38 AM
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Re: Art terms that have changed their meaning over time

Thread topic:
Quote:
Originally Posted by contumacious
While typing something about "Dryers" used in oil paints I realized that I wasn't sure which word was the correct one to use to describe a dryer such as Cobalt that is added to paint to speed the curing time. I used the word drier at first but after looking it up, it appears I was incorrect, sort of.

You will find the word Drier used quite often even by professional paint makers, in place of the supposedly correct word - Dryer.

A Dryer is something that makes things drier. (More dry)
dry·er
ˈdrī(ə)r/
noun
noun: dryer; plural noun: dryers; noun: drier; plural noun: driers
  1. 1.
    a machine or device for drying something, especially the hair or laundry.
  2. 2.
    a substance mixed with oil paint or ink to promote drying.
dry

drī/
adjective
comparative adjective: drier
1.
free from moisture or liquid; not wet or moist.
"the jacket kept me warm and dry"
synonyms:parched, dried, withered, shriveled, wilted, wizened

And now to the "sort of" reference above:

http://grammarist.com/usage/drier-dryer/

The words were once interchangeable. The distinction crept into the language through the 20th century and has only recently solidified. Some dictionaries still list the words as variants of each other, but the words are almost always kept separate in 21st-century publications.

Another one is "Gesso". Years ago Gesso was the label for a different material than what the average artist thinks of today - Acrylic "Gesso" - when they see that word.

Can you come up with more art related terms, descriptions or words with changed usage, definitions or perceptions over the years?

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Old 01-06-2018, 12:50 PM
contumacious contumacious is offline
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Re: Art terms that have changed their meaning over time

It is interesting to watch threads take on a life of their own.

Attached Images
  
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Old 01-06-2018, 01:47 PM
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Re: Art terms that have changed their meaning over time



But don't worry, there's always moderators to try and get things back on track. If you are interested in art terms that have changed meaning over time, try the word "art" itself. It's a constantly evolving term.

Cheers;
Chris
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Old 01-06-2018, 02:22 PM
contumacious contumacious is offline
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Re: Art terms that have changed their meaning over time

Quote:
Originally Posted by caldwell.brobeck


If you are interested in art terms that have changed meaning over time, try the word "art" itself. It's a constantly evolving term.

Cheers;
Chris

So it is. I wonder what "American" English would be like today if we had something similar to this in the USA.

The Académie Française

Or this:

Quebec Language Police
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