Crescent wrenches (was: Nomenclature (was: NEXT Color Printer find

From: Chris <>
Date: Wed Jan 2 11:56:25 2002

>I don't know what they're teaching kids these days, but in the time period
>for which this list is relevant, mechanics did/do indeed refer to any
>adjustable wrench of that particular design as a "Crescent Wrench". They
>do NOT use the term "Crescent Wrench" to refer to any other style of
>adjustable wrench, and would consider THAT misuse as comparable to
>referring to a box-end wrench as a "socket".

At least around here, they are teaching that it is an Adjustable Wrench,
and specifically teaching that it is NOT a Crescent wrench.

I also am personally unaware of ANYONE that professionally works with
tools like these (and that means, NOT a person that repairs computers for
a living and happens to have one for the rare occasions it is needed, but
rather people that are in construction, or automotive repair, or
similar), and calls it a Crescent wrench. At least as far as everyone I
know, and what I learned in school (theater set construction, and the
fire academy, and what I have found from friends that went to VoTech
schools), the only people that call it a Crescent wrench are snickered at
behind their backs because they are a "layman". That doesn't mean I think
it is wrong to call it a crescent wrech (I still do sometimes as that was
what I originally knew it as), they just specifically teach here NOT to
call it that.

But that is just around here, and like all language terms, change
dramatically with region (go to a restaurant around here and order "pop"
and you will get a funny look... do it in the midwest, and they will know
exactly what you want).

Also, flip open any tool catalog you want, you won't see a generic
adjustable wrench listed as a Crescent Wrench. Flip open a electronics
parts catalog, and you *might* see the push on, D shapey, "Centronics"
connector (regardless of number of pins), listed as a "Centronics". Mind
you, that does NOT make it correct, just that at least you can find it
listed that way.

Of course, with all this, I am NOT saying that the connectors should be
called Centronics. I personally don't care what they are called.
Centronics, Blue Ribbon, or Susan... as long as I know what the person is
talking about, then the term did its job, it conveyed meaning... and
isn't that really the point to language in the first place?

>Calling the connector in question an "Amphenol connector" (regardless of
>who made that particular one) would, indeed be like using the
>common term "Crescent Wrench" when referring to an "adjustable
>wrench" (rather a vague, ambiguous name for it!)

But the term arguers will complain about calling it an Amphenol just as
much I am sure.

>But calling it a "Centronics connector", particularly when dealing with
>sizes other than 36, would be like calling the same wrench a "Ford

Agreed, but it still happens (albeit, wrongly)

>In the original post that was objected to, the writer referred to
>"Centronics Ports". THAT was wrong. If he were to have said "ports with
>50 pin centronics connectors", then it would be a trivial misuse, and
>everyone would know what he meant (although some would DOUBT whether what
>he was seeing was correct -"are you sure they're 50s?"). BUT, a
>"Centronics PORT" means a parallel printer port as its primary and only
>meaning, and the ports in question were obviously not that.

Again, agreed.

>One of the old classics of email "humor" mentions in passing a "Craftsman
>10mm crescent wrench". Calling a wrench made by Craftsman a "Crescent" is
>what you are talking about. Since the dimensions of such wrenches were
>the LENGTH of the wrench, and Crescent didn't at that time label any of
>theirs in metric units, the "10mm" is just weird.


>In my garage, we had a box with a 150mm Crescent WANNABE, "rubber nails"
>(steel nails for nailing rubber weatherstripping), spotted paint (sold in
>a spray can by GM for repairing trunks), etc. for hazing the new parts

And the all time favorite, ask for the 8/16th socket.

I think maybe I am the only one that saw the inherent humor and irony in
arguing about calling things by their correct name, and not their common
name, and using a Crescent wrench as an example of how TO call items by
their correct name. <sigh> humor is wasted...


Received on Wed Jan 02 2002 - 11:56:25 GMT

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