Monday, April 04, 2016

A Quick Geometry Lesson

I'm probably more annoyed than I should be by this common mistake, but I used to be a math teacher and have taught geometry to students from first to sixth grade. I see this blunder everywhere lately: on blogs, YouTube tutorials, and even in beauty books (where are the editors?). It's also in PR pitches for various contour and highlighting products, and it drives me up the wall, so please allow me a moment of crankiness:

When applying foundation and concealer we strive to create a smooth canvas, but that can appear too flat. The face loses some of its depth, and the features appear TWO DIMENSIONAL. Not One dimensional. TWO. Because one dimension means a line. The plane of the face has both length and width. Since we want to re-add some depth we contour and/or highlight accordingly, to emphasize the three dimensional nature of the face.

Class dismissed. I'll be at my desk munching on as apple.

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  1. Ha, how I understand you. My personal pet hate is the expression "reach a crescendo", as a crescendo is a gradual increase (the opposite is decrescendo) but it's widespread in non-musical contexts to use it to mean "reach a very loud state". But you cannot “reach” a crescendo" as little as you can have one dimensional face.

  2. I didn't know you were a math teacher! Excellent! And certainly correct. Of course we could add time to the mix as a fourth dimension, but then flat make-up that lasts a long time would be three-dimensional...

    Reminds me of a mathematician friend who bought a tiny, but very old, house. "The volume is pretty small, but the hypervolume!"

  3. I was not fond of algebra but I liked geometry and still remember a lot from the school days. You are so right. People are often using phrases and expressions they don't fully understand but to do so in ads and books indicates complete superficiality.

  4. The general lack of math/science acumen is maddening. That is not to say that the people who misuse the one/two dimension phrases of unintelligent, but you are referring to very, very basic concepts not advanced trigonometry. It is a little (a lot) scary.

  5. And it's not just math and geometry that people don't understand; it's language in general. As a professional writer, I'm constantly appalled at the way people brutalize plain old English. Between emails and text messages, written communication is more important now than it's been in ages; yet people are shockingly terrible at basic spelling and grammar. That's my pet peeve.

    1. Very true. I am also appalled and I am not even a native English speaker.


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