Originally Posted: 2008-11-09 13:38 (no longer live)

Draws and Drawers

File cabinets with draws, dressers with draws, desks with draws. There are ads all over Craig's List for furniture with "draws." Do you folks by any chance mean "drawers?" A drawer is a box-like thing that is housed in a piece of furniture and that rotates in and out. It's used for storage.

A "draw" is many things, but it is not a "drawer."

Are there really so many people who are confused about this? People in the Marina and SOMA? You don't know what a drawer is? I mean, I hate to be a stickler, but come ON. Not knowing how to spell drawer means you've never read *anything.* Not a work of classic literature, not a pulp novel, not a comic book, not a catalogue, not a magazine, not a newspaper. The word drawer is everywhere.

Literature: Madame Bovary kept things in drawers. Jo March used drawers. Franny and Zooey used drawers. Portnoy used drawers. Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and the Three Investigators all solved mysteries by striking an old desk, thereby unlatching a "secret drawer."

Drawers aren't only in old literature; they are in recent, highly regarded and prize winning literature: staggering geniuses use drawers. People for whom things are illuminated use drawers.

Even in current best-sellers there are drawers. According to a millisecond-long A9.com search, on page 31 of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (#62 in Oprah's Bookclub), "...[at] odd moments she might discover Trudy rearranging the chest of drawers..." And in Extreme Measures - a Thriller (2008), on page 271, someone opens a drawer to take out a pack of Marlboros. There are many, many, maaaaany others. It's more likely than not that any work of fiction will refer to a drawer at some point within it's pages.

In advertising: have you never heard of "top drawer service?" Even the newspaper is full of advertising references to Cost Plus World Market weekend deals on rattan wine bars with iron bottle-racks and MDP "utility drawers." Or Macy's blowout furniture "events" where bedroom sets include several items with drawers. Bed, Bath and Beyond sells things with drawers. Instructions for putting together IKEA furniture make references to these things called "drawers."

While it's possible you are confusing drawers with "draws," those flat, pull-out trays that might be on a taboret or tool chest, that's still doesn't contradict the fact that you don't read enough to know how to accurately represent that storage-box part of the furniture you are selling. You don't recognize or spell correctly the word "drawer."

Is this such a big deal? Not knowing how to spell a word? Maybe, maybe not. Though I'd perhaps be less concerned if you were having trouble spelling, say, "Czechoslovakia," or "appliqué," or even, "biscuit." Those words aren't as ubiquitous in our lives as the word "drawer."

But not knowing "drawer." It says something larger. Something not good.

I'm not trying to pick on anyone here. Just to say, this seems to be a disturbing trend and I hope it doesn't mean what I think it means.

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