Rubric, category or both?


In one of the textbooks (for the 6th form? the4th?)  I came in touch with the word rubric. Frankly speaking I didn’t like it at first sight.

What was wrong with the word? It sounded rather Russian to me. So I had to consult a dictionary. See what I’ve found out.

Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary

rubric /?ru?.br?k/

noun [C] FORMAL
a set of instructions, etc., especially on an exam paper and usually printed in a different style or colour:
Read/Follow the rubric carefully. (инструкции!)

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner’s Dictionary 5th Edition

A rubric is a title or heading under which something operates or is studied. (FORMAL)
The aid comes under the rubric of technical co-operation between governments.
= title, heading (заголовок!)

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

ru·bric /?ru?br?k/ n [C]
[Date: 1200-1300; Language: Old French; Origin: rubrique ‘words written in red’, from Latin rubrica, from ruber ‘red’] (выделенное красным!)

Collins English Dictionary

Derived words:

rubrical adj; rubrically adv
reddish; marked with red

My favourite OALD ran:

(formal) a title or set of instructions written in a book, an exam paper, etc. (again instructions)

(I need to have a look into the textbook to see what the authors meant…)

Then I understood why I was against the word. When working with Joomla I used to see Categories where Rubrics were supposed to be. Though the word Category is an international word as well, no problem of acceptance arose. I got used to it. Strange.  Maybe my English is too poor and my perception of the language is far from what it should be. I just wanted to add a new rubric to the blog. The one where the authors would be able to share their thoughts in English and improve their mastering of the language in some way. Written English.

As you see above the word rubric was borrowed to French from Latin and then came to English. So it has the right not to sound very natural. Nevertheless I am going to speak not about a new rubric but about a new category. The articles will fall into/belong in/fit into a category as Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English says.

Thinking of a name.

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