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The Merry Month: by Robert Merry

15 June 2020
Robert Merry

Robert Merry, MCIOB, is an independent Stone Consultant. He ran his own stone company for 17 years before becoming first an independent project manager and now a consultant. He is also an expert witness in disputes regarding stone and stone contracts. 0207 502 6353 / 07771 997621. [email protected].

So here it is. The big reveal. The moment the nation (the stone nation) has been waiting for. ‘The winner of the best suggestion for the name for people who go to cities and look at stone...’ (lights, tense music, glitter ball and confetti shower ready).

Up I walk to the camera, microphone in hand...

Thank you to everyone who wrote in with suggestions. I have selected a few for your entertainment (pan to screen)...

From Nacho Vila (of Xeilex in Spain) we get Stonenjoyer.  No explanation required – neat and to the point. Thank you.

Simon Hewitt (Natural Stone Estimates) wrote in with a list:

  • Lithophile. Litho, Greek for limestone, as in lithography (printing). Originally, before using metal, lithographs used a limestone plate that was etched before ink was applied and printed. Nice.
  • Lapilgrim. See what he did there? French. The Pilgrim. A person who journeys to a sacred place for religious reasons. The worship of stone – is there a journey more sacred? Sacre bleu!
  • Marmorealist. A play on Memorialist, perhaps. Marmor, though Greek in origin, is also the ancestor of the English word ‘marmoreal’, meaning marble-like.

Simon also suggested the tourist boards for each place visited could nominate the best local stone and you could start a trend for “bagging each one like a Munro”. A Munro is a Scottish Mountain above 3,000ft. Reaching the summit is an achievement to be recorded. 

Apparently Stoner, which came up in a previous conversation, ‘is a sub-genre of comedy film that revolves around the recreational use of cannabis.’ Could be useful for accompanying friends or relatives less interested in stone. You could say “I am a Lapilgrim and this is my stoner” when introducing yourself – probably to the local constabulary.

Mark Aldridge ([email protected]), freelance stone draughtsman, also sent in a list:

  • Petrophiles. Petro is also Greek for stone – think of petrography and petroglyphs (forms of rock carving found all over the world).
  • Fasciarist. I like this except my pronunciation when I first looked at it was facey-arse-rist, which, through no fault of Mark’s, has relegated this suggestion to the bin.
  • Cathedral spotter. Easy to read, trips off the tongue, though limits the genre to large religious buildings.

An E Bignell of no fixed abode threw in his twopenny-worth (and I mean two pennies worth!):

  • Petrurbanite. I like that. The bite of urbanite with the history of the Greek. Very nice.
  • Pierrurbane. Here we’re mixing hints of a French stone with the Latin Urbanus, meaning ‘belonging to a city’. Describing a stone watcher as urbane – a person comfortable and polite in social situations, particularly cities – well, it just fits.

Simon Hunter (Britannicus), perhaps rather cheekily, suggested Stone Hunter. Nothing wrong with that, if a little close to home.

There was also a suggestion of Completely Stoned. Now where have I heard that before?

So, to the final results and the winner of the £100 of Stone Consultants’ expertise (drum role; camera pans from face to face of each expectant contestant).

Third... Pierrurbane

Second... Stonenjoyer

And the winner of ‘The name for people who go to cities and look at stone’ is……….… (exciting innit) ........…….......…… Simon Hewitt with Marmorealist.

(Deafening music, glitter ball, confetti shower, screaming fans, Simon is hugged by members of his family and the world of stone). Yeah!!!!

Congratulations. Marmorealist. It just hits the spot. The Marmorealists - a group of people who go to cities and stare at stone.

I’m one of them.

Are you?

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