On Twitter, someone recently posted that they had curated a cup of tea, whatever that means.
When did "curating" become a skill possessed by anyone who could shop, edit or make decisions, such as choosing between skimmed and full-cream milk?
Overuse of this word had been registering for a while, but it hadn't made the synaptic leap until an interior designer boasted recently that she'd "curated" the photographs inside a swanky apartment.
Essentially, she had selected half a dozen holiday snaps taken by a friend, hung them on his walls and made a trip to the furniture shop. That made her a curator?
Merriam-Webster offers this definition: "[A curator] is one who has the care and superintendence of something"; The Concise Oxford English Dictionary is marginally more helpful, with its description of a "keeper or custodian of a museum or other collection".
I preferred to be led by instinct, which told me, "I could have done that."
Sure, this flat had been filled with beautiful images, and furniture that had been purchased to give the rooms a purpose. But, couldn't most of us, with time, money and the inclination, design a similarly striking home?
Maybe not. Perhaps I should be railing at others who have helped popularise the word. Four years ago, for example, I received an email from vacationist.com about a hotel that delivers "curated experiences".
And in 2007, The New York Times ran a story about a home-furnishings retailer with a penchant for big jewellery. The reason her beds wore bracelets was that they were like any carefully curated outfit.
I'd emailed the story to myself, unironically titling it "Curated Beds".
My email account obviously needs serious curation.