Hortus Instrumentum Disputatio (Garden Tool Talk)

This week’s blog entry is a dead subject to most (wait for it to sink in and then laugh). I was attempting to describe various garden tools I wanted one of the staff to grab from the tool shed when I realized they were not sure which tool I meant. Which rake did I want? What is a garden rake? Which fork did I desire? Pitchfork? Which shovel was I longing for with many pangs?

Then, a brilliant idea occurred to me (This happens so often for me that I am not always aware at first the merits of a specific conception). I could solve all my communication problems if I could convince the rest of the world to standardize the names of tools. In the world of biology, thanks to Carl Linnaeus, organisms are named with a two Latin word naming system known as binomial nomenclature. Why Latin? It is a dead language (Now does the above play on words make sense?). It shall remain the same in perpetuum. People in France, the Congo, Sri Lanka and Los Angeles can all see the same two Latin words and know exactly which species another is referencing, since the naming is standardized. 

So, how cool would it be if we named our garden tools by some Latin terms upon which we can all agree, so the next time I ask for a flat shovel someone does not come back with an edging shovel? I realize you are probably thinking, Josh why don’t you get it yourself and not suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous tool names? A fair question, certainly! Drop us a comment if you’ve got any good names for us to try!

Josh Steffen, Horticulture and Facilities Manager

2 thoughts on “Hortus Instrumentum Disputatio (Garden Tool Talk)

  1. Ginger

    No suggestions yet, delving into 3 years of high school Latin. Nothing being resurrected so far.
    However, am currently digging into the anatomy of a shovel (who knew?)

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