Language has been equated with the visual arts or used to raise their status throughout the Western tradition. This is so, for example, in Antiquity with Horace’s ut pictura, poesis erit, in the Renaissance with Vasari’s relating of painting, sculpture and architecture to the work of the humanists, and in the twentieth century with the formation of groups such as Art & Language. While these explorations are on what might be called a philosophical level, language has also affected our understanding of the nuts and bolts of the arts, especially architecture, through the terms used to identify such things as styles, building types and parts of buildings. This terminology is controlled largely through glossaries, from Viollet-le-Duc’s Dictionnaire, which is in effect a collection of essays, to a series of points like those accompanying Pevsner’s Buildings of England volumes. There are also polyglot compilations such as the Glossarium Artis volumes or the Glossaire in the Zodiaque series. Despite the existence of these publications confusion and errors occur, both within individual languages and more frequently in the transfer of terms from one language to another and between disciplines. The situation between languages has improved beyond all recognition since the middle of the nineteenth century when John Parker could translate the German Kloster as ‘cloister’ instead of ‘monastery’, Kreuzgang as ‘transept’ instead of ‘crossing’, and Spaziergang as ‘ambulatory’ instead of’stroll’, though even the Glossaire in 1965 translated the French term tribune, a tribune gallery, as ‘loft’, and stylobate, a pedestal, as ‘basement table’. In the interdisciplinary sphere, the adoption by Stephen Jay Gould of the term ‘spandrel’ as a metaphor for a feature in evolutionary biology (one which is not adaptive but rather arises as a by-product of other processes) has led to the wrong element (he meant a pendentive) becoming a standard term in the science.