Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Little Vocabulary Lesson

I think that realtors ought to have to take a brief history of architecture class. Granted, most of them are well versed in the pieces and parts that go into a house, and having been through untold numbers of homes over the years, I know a good majority have a great eye and appreciation for design. But, almost without fail, if I have settled into my chair to spend a few minutes looking through the latest listings, I come across a description written by a realtor whose architectural ignorance makes my jaw drop.

The most prolific mistake I see touts a home's "Palladium Windows". There is simply no such thing.

Palladium is a a rare metallic element of the platinum group, silver-white, ductile and malleable, harder and fusing more readily than platinum: used chiefly as a catalyst and in dental and other alloys. Symbol: Pd; atomic weight: 106.4; atomic number: 46; specific gravity: 12 at 20°C. 

So unless the previous owners chiseled out all of their old fillings to make windows, chances are that the poor misinformed realtor really wants us all to know that the house has a PALLADIAN window. Which looks like this:
Palladian Window

And ONLY like that. The entire composition of three parts is a Palladian Window. This nuance is lost on some who will describe any window with an arch top on it as Palladian. So, a brief recap:

Palladium

Palladian Window

Cheap, builder-grade half round transom. NOT Palladian or Palladium.


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