Using words correctly – “podium” and “lectern”

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Every one of us has a goal of using words correctly.  Here is an example of a word being used incorrectly.  I encountered this sign in the Denver airport while waiting in line at a TSA checkpoint.  The sign exhorts passengers to move ahead to any of several places where a TSA agent waits to check your boarding pass and ID.

The sign incorrectly calls such a place a “podium”.  This is wrong.  The person designing this sign was looking for the word “lectern”.  See for example this article and this article.  



5 Replies to “Using words correctly – “podium” and “lectern””

  1. Interesting… so a lectern can be placed upon a podium from which a podiatrist can lecture about podiatry.

  2. I was happy to learn this. Yet it seems podium has additional meanings, including “lectern” and “a counter or booth, as one at an airport for handling tickets or dispensing information” according, at least, to Not the OED of course but still, has the language changed such that the word podium can refer to more than something you stand on?

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