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Is Ceramic Archaic?

I don't think ceramic itself is archaic, but is the word "ceramic" archaic?

Here is why I ask. I have had this experience twice in two different years (2005 and 2007) in two different cities (Mentor and Cleveland Heights) in two different franchises (Panera and Starbucks). The one constant was that the servers were both young men, one black, one white.

I walked into the coffee shops in question and asked for a large ceramic cup in which to make a cup of tea. In both cases, the young man in question reached behind himself with a slightly puzzled look on his face and brought forward a Styrofoam cup. In both cases, I wasn't sure what was going on. (I'm a slow learner.) I am afraid to say, I took it a bit personally and was offended, maybe even a bit huffy. I am sorry for both times, really, I am. I promise that in the future, I will speak slowly and use smaller words.

I pointed out to both of the young men that what they had in their hands was not ceramic. They both shrugged and looked even more perplexed. I said, "That is Styrofoam; I would like ceramic." At this point, the light started to go on in the attic. The one young man admitted that he didn't know what ceramic meant, the second just got a different cup, since I didn't seem happy with what he was proffering.

In both cases, I did get my tea, in a ceramic cup, and I was happy. But I was perplexed as to whether the term "ceramic" was archaic, or if I was for using it.

ce·ram·ic (sə-răm'ĭk) pronunciation

1. Any of various hard, brittle, heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant materials made by shaping and then firing a nonmetallic mineral, such as clay, at a high temperature.
1. An object, such as earthenware, porcelain, or tile, made of ceramic.
2. ceramics (used with a sing. verb) The art or technique of making objects of ceramic, especially from fired clay.

[From Greek keramikos, of pottery, from keramos, potter's clay.]
ceramic ce·ram'ic adj.

(I don't see archaic in there anywhere.)


"Ceramic" probably isn't archaic, but the concept of something reusable and of high quality (not to mention tactilely pleasant) may be...

It isn't archaic - but if you've gone through life with no experience of working/playing with clay, & no interest in the work others do with this, or even very limited experience in science (etc) - it's quite likely that you've not heard/read the word, or you've not even noticed it sufficiently to say "what was that???"

Ma, Liam looks so cute in the "throw-away" sweater you made him. The little hood is "ah-door-ablah" :-)

Oh, and ceramic? what can I say? I was surprised not all families baked their own pies...

I'm suprised you got a ceramic mug at Starbucks.
Though, in truth,they sell them.

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