When an edge is not an edge?

The latest edition of Approved Document M is now available on-line, prior to coming into force at the start of October 2015. I will review the content in a little while, but for now, I just want to observe one of DCLG’s Humpty Dumpty moments.

In Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass Alice meets Humpty Dumpty; this is part of their exchange:

`I don’t know what you mean by “glory,”‘ Alice said. 

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. `Of course you don’t — till I tell you. I meant “there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!”‘ 

`But “glory” doesn’t mean “a nice knock-down argument,”‘ Alice objected.

‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

Which is exactly the approach DCLG have taken:

Leading edge (of door): The surface of a door which leads into, (or faces), the room or space into which the door is being opened – sometimes referred to as ‘the pull side’.

What could be more fun than deciding to define an edge as a face or surface? It’s not as if they have saved themselves any space: leading face would take up no more letters.

So the answer to the question in the title of this post is: when it is a face. Hardly fall-off-chair funny, but perhaps worth a wry smile.