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Not Liable name change Answered

When we released categories in April my intention was to help people find more Instructables that fit their interests. We carefully chose eight categories that broadly represented the site, and encouraged cross-over by allowing Instructables to be in two categories. I imagined that the categories would change and grow with time: If we saw an influx of Instructables of a certain type that couldn't be accommodated by the sub-category keywords, we'd create a new category.

Not Liable was intended for all things that required a safety warning, and it was us thumbing our nose at our overly litigious society. I love the Not Liable category; many of the projects are inspiring, ridiculous, hilarious, and completely irreverent.

However, over the past few months it seems that the specific name Not Liable isn't a great fit for the Instructables that show up there. Also, the focus on caution, safety, and "I am not liable for your actions..." attracts two types (at least two, maybe more) of Instructables that aren't a great fit, and just shouldn't be there at all. First, there are the Instructables that require some discussion of safety, but safety isn't a defining characteristic. For example, if a project involves making a book shelf with a table saw, the author should mention that table saws require care, but this doesn't make it a Not Liable Instructable. On the other hand, safety is at the very core of an Instructable on breathing fire. Second, many people misunderstand the meaning of the name, and assume it's a category only for things that might be illegal or immoral. I firmly believe that information should never be illegal, but there are projects that will never make good Instructables, and some people interpret Not Liable as a call for those projects.

Also, Not Liable has always rubbed my aesthetic sense the wrong way: It's our only two-word category!

So, I propose to change the name of the category to better reflect the Instructables already there, and as a way to encourage more Instructables of the type we want. When we transition, we'll add a "Not Liable" keyword to various Instructables to seed a proper Not Liable sub-category.

So, give us a hand coming up with a new name, and tell us your thoughts.

Brainstorm of potential ideas:


Thank you so much for your feedback. We debated here at Instructables for a long time, and have decided to go with "Offbeat." I think it's a great category name, encourages people to submit even the wackiest Instructables, and is easily understood. Look for the change in the very near future.




NRA (standing for Not Really Advisable)?

If you had sound effects on buttons, it could make that backward-sucking whistle that mechanics make just before they tell you that the annoying little squeak is going to cost you three months' wages.

Oh I like Eclectic, or maybe Caveat ?

I like caveat. Of course, I'm also a big fan of outre, which was voted down for similar reasons of insufficient understanding of vocabulary.

I suppose you might say it was just "beyond them? ;-)

According to an online translator: "Maker Beware" is "Plasmator Caveo" "Beware of the Make" is "Caveo Planto" "Beware of the Task" is "Caveo Negotium" Just plain "Beware" is "Caveo" "Be Careful" is "Exsisto Curiosus"

In Latin, they'll think it's all Magick. "to be" should be smaller than exsisto: Cogito ergo SUM.

Maybe it really means "let carefulness exist"?

caveo, also sounds like it could be something that may send civilization as we know it, back to the caves *lol*

Irrelevantly Dangerous? Abstractedness? Abstractedly Dangerous? I like long words. They make me feel special!

I have a favorite from my list, but I'm suddenly taken by "Lab." I like the idea of an Instructable being "from the the lab." I think that captures a positive connotation about something being experimental, innovative, but potentially rough around the edges.

I think "Lab" would be a wonderful keyword, but I think theres a big difference between that, and not liable.

Yeah, Lab should be a category, but it shouldn't replace not liable.

I like Lab too, it's short and serious and experimental, and everyone knows what it means.

Hm... what about The torture chamber, or the rack if you like one syllabulness...

Thunderclap hmm, no that sounds....too strange.

Could you not split the category into two? One being something along the lines of "Quirky" and another along the lines of "Unsafe"? Plus it may help lots of people (without GM) to have a "Knex" category. This would make it easier to filter for the lovers/haters of knex.

K'Nex is a perfect sub-category, and, at this time, does not warrant a full category.

How about a quarantine enclosure? Like we do here in the UK to make sure pets aren't infected with rabies, they are kept out of circulation for six months.

Parental Advisory? L

Exploratory sounds ok to me..

and it could have a negative connotation to it......think alien probe...


10 years ago

AYOR (at your own risk)? ***
Autolitigious? ***
Insane? ***

*** still looking for a word for
"Stupid and Dangerous, you have been warned, so don't sue me!"

I like these previous suggestions:


Risk is a good word. EAYOR Execute at your own risk?

Risky -- it should be an adjective. But then its more than one syllable.

I'll bump up Risky and Extreme, to soften the "if you try this you will probably die" attitude, and suggest: -Mischeivous -Unapproved -Reckless -Unadvisable ...as well as add a bias toward the category being: *Not fully tested... Experimental... May be unexpected hazards* -Unrefined (the following may be TOO soft on danger:) -Experimental -Preliminary

I remember the term oddball being thrown around :) misshapen whimsical grotesque extreme flippant fickle helter-skelter (hyphenated... one word?) Darwinian Of course Explosions or I'm Still Alive After This Seems like a perfectly reasonable category :p Or, at least would fit a great deal of projects :p

While Darwinian has good comic value, it still conveys the idea that "you will get hurt doing these projects." That's not what we're trying to do.

. Then, in order of my preference: . Imprudent . Eccentric . Shenanigans . Warranty Void . Quirky . All already suggested by others.

Then go with incommensurable. :-P J/k I see edge on your list, how about edgy?

I like 'odd'. It fits in the best with the rest of the categories. 1 syllable, Anglo-Saxon not Latinate, IOW short & sweet.

Yeah, that works too. But esoteric is a lot more fun to say. :-)

. Here's vote #2 for Darwinian. I think that sums it up very well - screw up and you're out of the gene pool.

make me number 4, 5 whatever we are on for Darwinian. plus it may help keep the number of unrelated instructables down in it. "huh, what the heck is Darwinian? my sandwich maker of doom definitely doesnt fit under that..."