So, What’s in a Name?

13 11 2011

Artisan: A worker who practices a skill or craft. A craftsman.


The word seems to imply something which has been crafted by a person who is highly skilled rather than one of thousands of identical manufactured items that came off an assembly line. Well, have you been watching television lately and noticed all the new products which are described as “artisan”? There is artisan pizza from Dominos. Then Starbucks has a new artisan breakfast sandwich. It seems everyone has an artisan something or other. According to USA Today (October 26, 2011), there have been over 800 new food products marketed as artisan in the last five years.


The craftsmen of yesteryear knew that their livelihood depended on their skill as craftsmen. If their work was inferior, then there was likely someone else in town who turned out better work and would demand more business. So the craftsman didn’t cut corners. He made every effort to turn out as fine a product as his skills would allow. Am I now to believe that the sandwich maker at Starbucks takes so much pride in his/her work that he/she is concerned about how I personally feel about that sandwich? And, if these artisan sandwiches are so great and worth the extra bucks you (I don’t do Starbucks since they stopped selling toasted coconut biscotti.) fork out for them, then why don’t they demand the same level of craftsmanship in all the products they sell? Why isn’t everything on the Starbucks menu artisan? Why isn’t every Dominos pizza made to the same “exceptional” artisan standards?


The truth is that this is no more than a marketing trend. But look at what is happening. By over-using the word artisan, they are diluting the meaning and, thus, the importance of the word.


“Oh, an artisan pizza, huh? Tastes just like that round pizza we shared last week. That’s the last time I buy anything artisan.” The word now has little meaning.


Now, I didn’t deliver that little diatribe to get you to think about the food you are buying. I wanted to draw a comparison. If you’re a regular reader of this blog then you may recall an earlier post entitled The Name.


One of my pet peeves is the use of God’s name without purpose. Or perhaps I should say for the wrong purpose.


The third of the Ten Commandments tells us not to use God’s name in vain. Contrary to common thinking, that isn’t restricted to cursing. The name God is very special. It is holy and should be spoken only in reverence and in reference to or conversation with God.

OMG is not an acceptable term. “Oh my god” spoken in jest or in any context other than one of reverence, is not an acceptable term. But just like the word artisan, the flippant overuse of His name is so commonplace that its meaning has been diluted, its sanctity no longer exists.


I’m not a world-changer. And most of the followers of this blog are Christian so I realize I’m preaching to the choir. But if I could change one thing, that would be on the list for consideration.


Why is that so important? Well, it must be important to God; otherwise, it either wouldn’t be on the list (Ten Commandments) or it would be further down. But this one is number three! It’s important to me because it’s important to God.


The day will come when the flock will be divided and all people will take a stance on one side of this issue or the other. Some will be cursing His name with every painful, sulphur-stifled breath while others will praise Him before His throne.


My name is not Milton Bradley so I don’t make the rules. I just deliver what’s on my heart. And as Forest Gump says, “that’s all I got to say about that.”




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