Words interest me. As I’ve been getting interested in green woodworking and the appropriate tools, I’ve become more aware of the US term “shop”. A few days ago, in a discussion of why America is lagging behind on lower level tech education, someone suggested schools needed to reintroduce ‘shop’, to get kids interested in designing and making things. I think young Brits would know this as ‘Design Technology, Resistive Materials’. I did ‘Woodwork’ and ‘Metalwork’.
America takes its cars ‘to the shop’ because their ‘garages’ are being used as ‘car parks’. Obviously, it means ‘workshop’. A shop where you buy work, a service instead of a product, as you walk down main street. Not at all like a job-shop in Britain where we try to sell spare labour to employers, or shop for jobs, if you prefer.
I came across a meaning from the world of share trading. A stock may be ‘shopped’ – actively sold. I think we’re finally getting to the meaning. A shop is a place (real or virtual) where goods, services and labour are traded, in either direction. A market stall. I almost wrote “store” but stores are where you keep things before selling our when they haven’t sold.
I was slightly side-tracked by coppers, copping criminals and taking them to the cop shop, trading their liberty for their crimes. My government assures me that if I haven’t committed a crime I won’t cop it. I wish I believed them. That’s the cost of lying in a market that depends on trust and information. Their share price is down.