Negative Message About Architects

virgilcarterSeptember 22, 2012

Am I the only one that is offended by the negative message at the top of the screen about architects (...taking your money...)? Come on moderator and sponsors of this site: there's no reason for being critical or negative about anyone or any profession.

Knock it off!

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I don't think it's meant to be offensive, I think it's meant more as a joke. I guess I can't speak for how the architects that visit this site feel, but I'm a dentist and I don't take any of the evil dentist jokes seriously.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 11:02PM
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Oh heavens. At my lawfirm, we have a painting entitled "Counsel Approaches the Bench" and it shows two sharks swimming up to the judge...

If I was an architect, I would put that quote up in my office! We should all laugh at ourselves a bit more often!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 8:45AM
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Yes, of course, there's a humorous side to the saying. There's a big difference in humor expressed in one's private environment and humor expressed in a large public setting, with visitors of a wide range of experience in design and construction.

It would be much more humorous however, and less offensive, if there were humorous comments about every other profession and trade involved with building and gardening. Or, better yet, if no profession or trade was the butt of public jokes here!

As it is, at it's best, it's simply humor at the expense of one profession, and at it's worst it's humor that unfairly (and unnecessarily) demeans a profession in a public setting.

This isn't the Comedy Channel.

Moderators, please make some effort to be humorous about everyone or no one!

How about being humorous about the building and gardening process, rather than about those individuals who labor in them?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 9:02AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Yes, I think a lighten up is called for here. I made my living as an economist and believe me, I told and heard more economist jokes and got more laughs from more people than anything else. It is humorous, and like most humor, it has an element of truth in it, or it wouldn't be funny.

An economist is someone who, when he sees something working in reality, wonders if he can get it to work in theory.

I would love to find an architect that didn't spend my money! In fact, all through the process, we had to keep reminding our architect to think "home owner" not architect...As an architect, he wanted to create his vision regardless of the a home owner, he understood that budgets are limited and trade-offs have to be made as to where to put one's money. We fully appreciated his vision as it gave us more options as to where to put our money, but, if he wanted Bill Gates as a client, he sure didn't get it in us.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 9:07AM
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Virgilcarter, Yes you must be the only one offended by this quote, as there are many professionals on GWeb and I have never seen it mentioned in the years I have been on here.

Look at the dates of the quote. Life it much too short to take something like this so seriously.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 10:27AM
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looks like you are the only one offended.

get over it.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 10:41AM
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It is a joke, and an old one.

Not all architects are that effective in single family residential construction.

Even fewer seem to have the background to deal with older houses.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 10:52AM
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Epiarch Designs

being one of the few archies that post here, I remember first seeing it and thinking....hmmm, so true!
People make livings by taking everyone's money.

Its no secret architects cost money. In most cases, you get what you pay for. There are a few on here with bad experiences unfortunately, but in general I think they (we) are worth every penny, and then some! :)

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 11:07AM
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As a retired architect, I've heard most, if not all, the jokes about architects. And I've heard many, if not most, of the complaints about architects (as well as the jokes about architectural clients).

Jokes and humor are fine; they are important!

Almost everything costs money, with the notable exception of friendship. How about we start some jokes about others in the design and construction worlds? Let's pass the friendship around. Just a thought.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 12:20PM
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Virgil--I think it's offensive as well.

So you are not the only one that feels that way.

When we are lucky enough to get a talented architect to give us free advice the first thing they see when they join the forum is that quote.

No, I agree with you.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 11:12PM
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Well, the quote is from "The Devil's Dictionary" if that helps.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 1:25PM
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I'm no architect, but I think it is intended to be a play on words. Sorry if it offended you. I don't think of architects in a negative stereotype.
Now my husband the builder may not agree with me...

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 2:11PM
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Let me just say I LOVED my architect and he was worth his weight in gold. I have been very vocal about that on these boards. But I have also heard lots of people complain about theirs.

I think every profession has reputations.My DH used to work on Wall Street. So I won't even go there with all the negative things said. I just don't think that quote is that serious. I wouldn't even have read it if this post was not written.

Are we really having to tiptoe and be PC about a architecture now...geez.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 2:58PM
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They don't like the term "architect" anymore. Too many negative connotations. The preferred term is "structurally abled".

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 4:21PM
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Here's a "twofer" from John Straube:

"A structural engineer is someone who doesn't have enough personality to be an accountant."


I'm more embarrassed about the popup ads for feminine hygiene products and full support undergarments. (Though some of those models are way more than half bad.)

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 8:42PM
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I've always wondered why the quote is against architects...when it's the 'Building a Home' forum, not 'Designing a Home' forum. Shouldn't the quote be anti-contractor? If we have to go that route, at all...

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 12:15PM
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The Devil's Dictionary was originally published as "The Cynic's Word Book". The definitions are intended to be funny at someone's expense.

What is inappropriate about the Garden web's use of only one definition is that, taken out of the original context, it suggests there is some point to be made about the profession of architectural design which seems unfair and even unkind.

Because a forum like this one depends so much on tolerance and kindness in order to function well, the quote sets an oddly inappropriate tone. I asked them to remove it in 2006 but the idea that the forum is moderated is wishful thinking.

See if these would be appropriate at the top of other internet forums:

(n.) A statesman who is enamoured of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.

(n.) A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be. Hence the custom among the Scythians of plucking out a cynic's eyes to improve his vision.

(n.) One skilled in circumvention of the law.

(n.) A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.

We all need to lighten up and that goes for the Garden Web authors whoever they may be.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 2:19PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

In interest of equal time, my favorite contractor cartoon is from the NYer...the contractor has a plan rolled out in front of him in the midst of an ongoing project with tools and 2x4s around in a gutted apartment and is explaining to the onlooking couple:

"Worst-case scenario? The renovation goes three years and two million dollars over budget, one of you bludgeons me to death with my own hammer, and you both get the electric chair."

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 3:38PM
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