there was a thread about "custom" vs "made-to-order"
and all sorts of relevance to framebuilding. my reply:

people "here" think "custom" applies to any frame whose
order pre'exists the build. as the english say, "bollocks".
"custom" is a dear term and i believe its use may be more app-
ropriate with bicycles than with frames. the literal translation
would have clients NOT ONLY asking for a fleur-de-lis here
and purple chromatic paint there, but telling the builder to use
this top tube and that angle and this seat stay treatment. as
far as i'm concerned, there's no middle ground; if a builder will
deliver ANYTHING that the client signs off on, he's making a
custom frame in the literal sense. if the builder vetoes some of
the requests because he can't stomach putting his name on a
science project, but still concedes to construct a well fitting,
well balanced, well constructed, and well golly - a well finished
frame, it's a made-to-order frame, NOT a custom one.
i'm a long time clothes horse with many inspirations drawn from
within the bounderies of jermyn street; e.g. i won't wear ties unless
the stripes descend "from the heart" and not the other icky direction.
ergo, i'm overly sensitive to the semantics used to describe what "we" do.