Friday, 13 November 2015

Professional toilet paper

Normally, ‘professional’ quality means better quality. Artists’ paints, for instance, come in ‘student’ and ‘professional’ grades, and the professional ones are made with real pigment instead of synthesised stuff and are correspondingly more expensive for the ones made of precious things. A professional bricklayer will do the job better than some bloke who does it in his spare time (in theory, anyway). A professional musician plays music for a living and can be assumed to be pretty good at it.

Olympic athletes are not professionals, though: they’re amateurs. It’s in the rules. If you ‘turn pro’ in boxing you can’t compete in the Olympics any more. Here, ‘professional’ means ‘does it for money’.

And the toilet paper they use in my workplace is ‘professional quality’, which in this context means ‘not the good stuff that you buy for yourself’. 

I was going to photograph the actual packaging but it's been thrown away, so here's The Professionals instead. 


  1. Your information is very out-of-date. Professional athletes have been competing in the Olympics since the 1970s

    I don't think that professional 'normally' means 'better quality' either. It means 'for money'. Better quality may be a bonus, but not necessarily.


    1. That is out of date. It's quite impressive to have out of date information from before you were born. Oh well! Yes, the core meaning is 'for money'. But that doesn't really apply to toilet paper.