Further to your opinion call as to the increasing use of the word ‘industry’ to describe the profession, Chambers defines ‘industry’ as being: ‘the business of producing goods; all branches of manufacturing and trade [or] a branch of manufacturing and trade which produces a particular product’; and ‘profession’ as being: ‘an occupation, especially one that requires specialist academic and practical training, eg medicine, law, teaching, engineering, etc [or] the body of people engaged in a particular one of these.’
According to the dictionary definition then, as a qualified solicitor, I am a professional practising the profession of the law. The word ‘profession’ implies high and agreed standards of learning, conduct and service, delivered by specialists who share a common and continuing commitment to excellence and professional standards.
‘Industry’, on the other hand, conjures images of factory production lines converting raw materials to finished product as quickly and cheaply as possible.
The incongruence is unequivocal and in my view the use of the word ‘industry’ as a descriptor for the profession demeans not only the profession itself but also the professionals who continue to uphold the standards we espouse.
Richard Salvidge, solicitor and general counsel, East Malling, Kent