WE at Learn English or Starve are not the only ones who’ve noticed the unique way the word curator is now used:—
“I almost burst out laughing. That’s probably true — particularly in Hong Kong. I turn my head around and all of a sudden, I found myself surrounded by many who have reinvented themselves as ‘curators’. And here in Hong Kong, curator apparently has a much broader definition than the traditional ‘keeper or overseer at an arts and cultural institution such as gallery, museum, foundation, archive, etc.’ ”
— Culture Shooooock!!!!!! | “Anyone can be a curator? 人人都係 curator?” | 22 June 2013
Read the full story there: Anyone can be a curator? 人人都係 curator?
We at Learn English or Starve don’t curate anything — certainly not our own stuff — but we DID touched on this topic in our ham-fisted article “How not to describe your job” many moons ago (actually, from New Year’s Day 2011).
To cut a long story short, if you’re going to pitch yourself as a ‘curator,’ it must be something not of your own. You may be the curate of your local church and (or but) may or may not also be the curator of your church’s religious artefacts. You might even be (and then only be) the curator of George Bush’s correspondence (not an enviable task!). You could be (or are) the creator of your own works — but cannot be the curator of your own works. So there.
Interestingly, the U.S. National (In)Security Agency is properly said to be the curator of surveillance material it collects worldwide, even though the material is (mostly) of its own instigation and effort.
© Learn English or Starve, 2013. Image: Curator Tape via Awesomer. (B13210)