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Trippy Words (in LA-world)

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I have been in the Landscape Architecture profession for over 20 years now (yikes!), but I still find myself tripping up on some industry words and second-guessing what I am saying-or what others are saying.  This just surfaced again for me while looking at a retaining wall condition on a project today.  I am thinking I am not the only one, but if I am, please don’t share this posting!   So, does it really matter? Is a project going to go wrong if I say one word over the other at a job meeting? Probably not because we all know what we are talking about. But being technically-correct matters, so I just had to put this to rest in my own head once and for all!

Below are the (much abbreviated) definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary  Yes, I know the dictionary’s focus isn't technical applications.  But if its definition DOES include what I’m after, that is good enough for me for this exercise.   

Linear vs. Lineal…Foot or Feet?
This one I hear variations of all the time.  Is it “ I need 20 linear feet of…” or “I need 20 lineal feet of…”?  And often” feet” is exchanged for “foot”… just to add to the angst.   Bottom line for me… linear wins hands down, but it isn't completely wrong to use lineal. And I’m sticking with the feet.  

Linear

Syllabification: lin·e·ar

adjective
1. Arranged in or extending along a straight or nearly straight line:linear arrangements linear shape linear movement

Lineal
Syllabification: lin·e·al

1. In a direct line of descent or ancestry: a lineal descendant     DEFINITELY DOESN'T FIT
2. Of, relating to, or consisting of lines; linear.    BUT LOOK HERE IT IS!

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_hedge-photo-by-Jonathon-Mair.JPG 
Iwonder how many LINEAR FEET of hedging there is?? Photo credit: Jonathon Mair

Footer vs Footing
I find myself using both of these terms all the time.  So, am I right or wrong?  Well…industry aside, it’s clear from the dictionary that footing is correct.  But even that’s down in the 3rd definition.  I think I’ll try to use footing but not beat myself up for using footer.  I don’t think I need to hang my head in shame over this one.

 

Footer     NOWHERE TO BE FOUND HERE

 

Syllabification: foot·er

1[IN COMBINATION] A person or thing of a specified number of feet in length or height: a tall, sturdy six-footer

2A line or block of text appearing at the foot of each page of a book or document. Compare with header.

Footing

Syllabification: foot·ing

1. (one's footing) A secure grip with one’s feet: he suddenly lost his footing

2. [IN SINGULAR] The basis on which something is established or operates: attempts to establish the store on a firm financial footing

3. (usually footings) The bottommost part of a foundation wall, with a course of concrete wider than the base of the wall.    WAY DOWN HERE AT #3!

 b2ap3_thumbnail_und-wall-footings.JPGb2ap3_thumbnail_und-wall-footings-2.JPG

 There's FOOTINGS under those walls! Photo credit: Arkos Design, Inc.  Project: University of Notre Dame Fitzpatrick/DeBartolo Site Improvements

 

#Container vs. Gallon Container

 

This is of course very industry related.  People not tied into the nursery trade in some way wouldn’t have a clue what I’m talking about, or could care less  I am sure.    Somewhere in my historic knowledge  I knew that “#...” was now the correct way to designate container size rather than volume.  And I was right (according to ANSI Z60.1-2014), whew.  However, the old terminology of gallons still lingers ON, and I find myself using it verbally sometimes.  I will try to do better. 

 b2ap3_thumbnail_container-gal-vs-.JPG

Keep the volume out of plant container sizes.  Source: American Standard for Nursery Stock  

 

 

I am sure there are many, many more of these trippy industry words out there.  Shovel vs spade anyone?  Feel free to share them in the comments!   

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