I don’t think it means what you think it means.

Carousell is a fantastic classified ad platform. It embodies one of my favorite proverbs, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

However, to find the treasure, you have to hunt. There are clues, but sometimes the clues are misleading.

In particular, I’ve noticed that people use words for different kinds of furniture in surprising ways.

There are people who use the word cabinet to describe a piece of furniture when it is clearly a shelf—and vice versa!

Deciding what to call something is hard. Especially if you’ve got more than one language rattling around in your brain.

See below for proof.

Problematic Classified Listings

Here’s a selection of items that seem to me to be described inaccurately.

^ Those are shelves.
^ That is a chest of drawers.
^ Sideboards go in the dining room. This is clearly meant for the living room. Still, it is a kind of cabinet with drawers.
^ That is a shelf.
Oh come on! That is obviously a desk.
^ That is a chest of drawers.
^ That is a cabinet.
^ That is a shelf. Not a sideboard. (Half credit.)
^ I see shelves…
^ Definitely not a cabinet.
^ That’s a cabinet.


In philosophical debates, the example that is inevitably used for talking about how we form concepts is ‘table’. It’s a boring, overused example, and I’m not sure whose idea it was to begin with or why it snowballed the way it did. But if you’re looking for a piece of furniture on Carousell, you may find yourself considering the distinguishing properties of desks, shelves, cabinets, and chests of drawers as well as coffee, dining, and bedside tables. I recommend browsing the relevant category to see things that might not turn up in a search for your target keywords. Or search using a wide variety of keywords, possibly including misspellings.


It’s not just furniture that’s a problem…

^ So it’s vintage? Well, yes, but actually, no…