produce product
Posted: 31 December 2019 02:57 PM   [ Ignore ]
Total Posts:  1749
Joined  2007-03-21

I just got a note from a friend in the Netherlands. she’s a fine oil painter and master teacher, and she blogs for artists who need advice. In today’s blog she says:

What isn’t prioritized, won’t result in real “produce” often

Her English is quite good but often awkward as in this case. She may not know that this noun use of produce usually means ‘vegetables.’ (or something ‘produced’ from a farm, but usually vegetables)

not sure what to substitute for the word ‘produce’ in her sentence. I suppose “won’t result in real ‘product(s)’”

that led me to ask why that which is produced from a farm became the noun “produce” and originally pronounced the way the verb is, rather than product. Hence Etymonline:

“thing or things produced,” 1690s, from produce (v.), and originally accented like it. Specific sense of “agricultural productions” (as distinguished from manufactured goods) is from 1745.

I don’t have access to OED so I’m missing some things along that route.

Again etymonline has for ‘product’

early 15c., “mathematical quantity obtained by multiplication,” from Medieval Latin productum, in classical Latin “something produced,” noun use of neuter past participle of producere “bring forth” (see produce (v.)). General sense of “anything produced” is attested in English from 1570s.

so it was available as a noun for that which is produced from a farm, but we’ve inherited it as “produce.”

I note that when I go to my barber, they now, as of the last decade or so, ask if I would like “product” in my hair after the cut.

I know that English is not logical, just interested that’s all.

Posted: 01 January 2020 05:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Total Posts:  6939
Joined  2007-01-03

Product(s) would work, although that’s usually reserved for things that are created for sale. To call art a product is insulting to the art.

I would suggest not using a noun as in won’t be produced or won’t result.

Or you could go more general, as in won’t create results.

Or go more specific, won’t manifest in the art.

Posted: 01 January 2020 03:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Total Posts:  998
Joined  2013-10-14

Perhaps, production, would have been more applicable.


Etymology: < Middle French production, produccion, French production presentation (of evidence in court) (1283 in Old French as producion , prodution ), act of creation (1332), origin, extraction (15th cent.), that which has been created, work of art, etc. (1546),

*Bold emphasis added

Posted: 01 January 2020 11:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Total Posts:  1398
Joined  2007-03-01

To call art a product is insulting to the art.

And yet it would be quite normal to write of any artist something like ‘This was perhaps X’s most productive period’, so it’s no wonder that a non-native speaker might see no reason not to describe the art produced during his productive period as its product!

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