Saturday, April 16, 2011

to abuse the meaning of "steampunk"

If you ask me, the following office set goes under the "NOT REMOTELY STEAMPUNK" category.  Then why has Fast Company's senior editor Suzanne Labarre, responsible for this article, labeled it "steampunk"?
image source: Fast Company
Where are the Victorian/sci-fi/mechanical/technologically advanced/antique influences in this piece? Where is the brass? 

image source: Fast Company
Oh, there. Okee... so just because there's a friggin' brass lever on a table means it's steampunk?! Either that or Labarre interpreted secret passages as the essence of steampunk culture.  You know, because secret passages apparently don't occur outside of a steampunk mindset.
Unlike people on Etsy or eBay who label non-steampunk items as steampunk to generate more hits, I doubt that Suzanne Labarre was trying to fool anyone to sell an item.  I think she was just trying to be cutesy in her description of this office set.  It just bothers me because the label is wrong. Although steampunk has a loose definition at best, I don't think that this office set qualifies as "steampunk" in any way, shape, or form.

Writers, please- understand what you are referring to before you start using labels to describe items.  Otherwise you're just being lazy.


  1. Well at least this isn't quite as horrible as our friendly neighbourhood Steampink Noir... ( )

  2. Haha, I wrote a series of posts on that very topic last month!