This thread was inspired by an article in Discover magazine titled Knit Theory despite the fact that it’s exclusively about crocheting and the needleworker who is the subject of the article explains the difference. Oh, and the tagline describes her as “a Latvian mathematician who’s handy with needle and yarn.” For the benefit of any editors of Discover who might be reading, and for my friends at the SDMB:
Knitting and crocheting are two different things. The technique is completely different, and the results (in most cases) look completely different. (Knitted fabric vs. crocheted fabric.) There is no generic term that means ‘knitting or crocheting’, so if you want to refer to one of them, you should be sure which one you mean. Knitting involves two knitting needles, which are long sticks with pointed ends. Crochet involves a crochet hook, which is a shorter stick whose end is shaped in such a way that you can catch a loop of yarn with it. There is no such thing as a “crochet needle.” It’s a crochet hook or it’s a knitting needle (and if the latter, there are probably two of them.) Okay, to be pedantic, “crochet needle” is an obsolete term for a crochet hook, but in my experience it’s mostly used by people who are unfamiliar with the craft and/or haven’t the foggiest notion whether they’re talking about knitting or crocheting.
Here’s some more terminology that is frequently confused in the media and in everday conversation:
The Universe is everything there is, the cosmos. A galaxy is a collection of millions or billions of stars which is held together by gravity. There are hundreds of billions of galaxies in the observable Universe. The Galaxy (capital G) or the Milky Way Galaxy is the galaxy in which our Sun is located. The Solar System is the Sun (Latin: sol) and everything that orbits around the Sun, including the Earth and the other planets and their moons, and asteroids, comets.
Are there any other terms that you often find used interchangably that shouldn’t be? Are there any terms that you commonly get confused? Maybe someone can help you keep them straight.
Let’s spotlight confusing terminology from some field of knowledge, please, rather than prosaic bugbears like they’re/their/there, affect/effect, accept/except, verbal/oral and the like.