Wood chopping board

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Complete with counterintuitive instructions.

But they don't tell you how to use it or what it's for.

What were they thinking?

Selected readings


  1. Tim Rowe said,

    September 28, 2020 @ 12:48 pm

    Ceci n'est pas une planche à découper? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Treachery_of_Images

  2. Philip Taylor said,

    September 28, 2020 @ 12:56 pm

    My suspicion (and it is only that, since I can't find it in Dunelm's online catalogue) is that it is intended for cutting rather than chopping per se. We tend, I think, to call all such board "chopping boards" in the UK, but were I to use my Chinese cleaver on most of my "chopping boards", many would just split in two, particular if the cleaver were aligned with the grain. My real chopping board is about 2" thick, cross-grain cut, and bought from See Woo (a Chinese supermarket).

  3. Paul Clapham said,

    September 28, 2020 @ 1:21 pm

    I wouldn't describe it as a "soft furnishing" either, but that may be a term of art in the UK home furnishing retail business.

  4. jin defang said,

    September 28, 2020 @ 1:37 pm

    I think that Mr. Taylor is being too kind. The person who created the sticker should've noticed the discrepancy between advertising something called a cutting board as not suitable for cutting.

  5. MattF said,

    September 28, 2020 @ 1:45 pm

    'This is not a chopping board.'

  6. David Morris said,

    September 28, 2020 @ 4:29 pm

    When I was growing up in country Australia in the 1970s, woodchopping was a feature of every country show. Those axes would make ummm … mincemeat of this board.

    Recently I was watching tv somewhere and it was showing a woodchopping and sawing competition, with one segment being chainsaws.

  7. Andrew Usher said,

    September 28, 2020 @ 8:21 pm

    I think pragmatics effectually excludes the meaning 'wood-chopping' here, so the only remaining issue is chopping vs. cutting – something I would expect non-native speakers to have trouble with, since the two are often synonyms anyway.

    k_over_hbarc at yahoo.com

  8. David C. said,

    September 28, 2020 @ 10:48 pm

    One interpretation is that the product is a board for presenting food, so really not meant for doing any cutting or chopping on, like the one here.

  9. John Swindle said,

    September 28, 2020 @ 11:16 pm

    I would expect _native_ speakers to have trouble with chopping vs cutting. Merriam-Webster says "chopping board" is chiefly British, but I'm American and that's what I call mine. The board doesn't actually do the chopping, though.

  10. Adam Funk said,

    September 29, 2020 @ 2:17 am

    @Paul Clapham

    "DUNELM (SOFT FURNISHINGS) LTD" is the official name of the company. I didn't know that until I checked, but the shops are fairly common in the UK. I think they originally sold mainly furniture and fabric, but they sell a lot of housewares now too.

  11. Philip Taylor said,

    September 29, 2020 @ 2:17 am

    "the product is a board for presenting food, so really not meant for doing any cutting or chopping on, like the one here" — I can confirm that at my wife's hotel we do indeed using very similar (if not identical) boards for presentation purposes (i.e., some dishes are presented to diners on just such boards). But if the Dunelm board were intended for such purposes, I would expect the illustration to shew the board in its entirety, since shape is then key.

  12. Michael Watts said,

    September 29, 2020 @ 8:14 am

    I tried to find the product page on dunelm's website, and this one seems like the closest match: https://www.dunelm.com/product/t-g-hevea-basic-chopping-board-1000006730

    But the page provides no directions and only a minimal blurb.

  13. Robert Coren said,

    September 29, 2020 @ 9:49 am

    @Philip Taylor: I would also think that, if it were intending )just) for "presenting food".. they wouldn't label it a "chopping board". But that leavers me still puzzled about what it's supposed to be for.

  14. Robert Coren said,

    September 29, 2020 @ 9:51 am

    If I could do so, I would edit the above to read:

    @Philip Taylor: I would also think that, if it were intended just for "presenting food", they wouldn't label it a "chopping board". But that leaves me still puzzled about what it's supposed to be for.

  15. Philip Taylor said,

    September 29, 2020 @ 1:55 pm

    Robert, I will ask my wife how the boards that she uses for presentation purposes were labelled — I very much suspect they were called "chopping boards", but as I explained earlier, in the UK we generally use that term whether or not they are intended for real chopping. In a sense, it is not unlike our word "Hoover", used to describe any vacuum cleaner, or our word "Biro" (/ˈbaɪə rəʊ/), formerly used to describe any ball-point pen.

  16. AntC said,

    September 29, 2020 @ 4:06 pm

    Thanks @Michael the page provides no directions and only a minimal blurb.

    It does include a photo that tells a thousand words: a set of knives, and partly-sliced root vegetables on the board. That nasty-looking serrated knife would surely scar the board if you started chopping carrots.

    @Philip You might serve a bowl of soup + toast on a board like that. But usually in swishy restaurants there'll be a saucer-like depression for the bowl and a rim round the board, to stop everything sliding off. You might put an individual cheese and crackers on a board, but that's usually called a 'cheeseboard' — and previously a 'cheeseboard' was larger, to be shared around the table. So the only sharp-ish objects the board would encounter would be a butter spreader or cheese knife.

    If you search 'chopping board' at the link @Michael gives, there's a wide selection of boards — some more 'industrial'/workcheflike than others; some more for presentation. There is a nice 'Large End-grain' board suitable to withstand Philip's Chinese cleaver. But yes, Dunelm seems to have come a long way from soft furnishings.

  17. Anthony said,

    September 30, 2020 @ 9:23 am

    I used to work in fireworks shows, where we'd spend the day losing all the shells into plastic mortar tubes. Most of the fireworks were made in China and had some funny translations of the safety instructions, but the best one ever was from a shell made in Canada: "Danger. Explosive. Do not light."

  18. misc544 said,

    September 30, 2020 @ 9:24 pm

    I think that Dunelm got confused when making it lol

  19. Julian said,

    October 1, 2020 @ 7:47 am

    Obviously it's a board that you stand on while doing your wood chopping.

  20. Philip Taylor said,

    October 1, 2020 @ 8:04 am

    Anthony, I am still intrigued by your use of "losing", as in "losing all the shells into plastic mortar tubes" — is this a pyrotechnics term of art, or just a typo ?

  21. Misha Schutt said,

    October 1, 2020 @ 1:40 pm

    A favorite restaurant of mine is called The Carving Board and serves their sandwiches on such a board. Very useful for gooey knife-and-fork sandwiches such as a pulled pork way too fat to pick up and stuff into one’s mouth.
    I must admit to not differentiating between a cutting board and a chopping board—after reading the discussion I can no longer be certain which I would say in an unprompted conversation. Since I don’t own a chopping knife (and buy meat already ground or chopped if that’s how I need it), I’ve never had to differentiate.

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