I’m not a sewist!
I love to sew. I sew things. Therefore, I am a sewer. So why, why, why do books, magazines and blogs call me a sewist!
OK, I understand that “sewer” is one of those potentially confusing English words that has two pronunciations and two meanings. One is a conduit for poo, the other is the quiet enjoyment of making things using a needle and thread. Just how likely is it that you would confuse the two when reading a sentence?
For example, if I say,
“Jane is a sewer, and makes beautiful dresses.”
is anyone really going to get confused and think the local sewage farm is involved in the manufacture of clothing?
Or, if I say,
“The sewer to my house is overflowing and smelly.”
would you really think that sewing is involved?
No, you wouldn’t. Context is all.
It’s patronising to think that we can’t tell the difference between the two words. Worse than that, it’s grammatically incorrect. One who crochets is a crocheter, one who knits is a knitter, one who crafts is a crafter … You get my drift.
So, please stop treating me and everyone else like an idiot and use the correct term, one who sews is a sewer!
The Oxford Dictionary:
An underground conduit for carrying off drainage water and waste matter.
Middle English (denoting a watercourse to drain marshy land): from Old Northern French seuwiere ‘channel to drain the overflow from a fish pond’, based on Latin ex- ‘out of’ + aqua ‘water’.
A person that sews.