So, the word “profane” means unholy or evil. It is an antonym for “blessed”. In this setting, of WH40k, it is often used to refer to daemon weapons. Profane is a rule key-word in Only War, Dark Heresy, and even the TTWG, at least older editions, and always relates to chaos-imbued items.
It really does not mean anything along the lines of “poor quality” except for a sort of conflation of “bad” and “evil”. Words like “scrap” or “salvage” or even just “trash” would be FAR more appropriate. I know you guys have plenty of other things to work on at the moment but I hope this can be changed soon.
I was just made aware that the item quality tiers were likely reworked to reflect levels of blessing rather than inherent quality. If that is so may I suggest the word “mundane” to replace the grey-tiered items. Profane is way down the evil side of the blessing scale but mundane is right smack in the neutral middle.
This is a small issue in the scheme of things, I know, but I hope it can be addressed eventually.
Alongside desecration, debasement, defilement, irreverent abuse, unholy contempt, and impurity.
And those synonyms, it sounds like I’m reading random words from a Night Lords book: abase, debauch, prostitute, warp, bastardize, degrade, deprave, pervert, subvert, debase, demean, poison, corrupt, etc.
The denotation is there. The connotation is there. Grey weapons are NOT daemonic in nature just less-blessed. Mundane fits in denotation and connotation.
Indeed, words may have different meaning in different contexts. But this is not DnD (and things must have changed because that just used to be Arcane magic back when I played), here is how the word is used in Dark Heresy:
From the core rulebook p290.
So pretty bad on the badness chart. It is also used throughout the Enemy Beyond book to describe chaos sigils or artifacts used in daemonic rituals, the binding of daemonhosts, forging of daemon-possessed weapons, etc.
All I am saying is that, in light of this, greys should be changed to something more neutral and “mundane” is a good candidate.
If, as @LoveTruffle suggests, they are intended to be suggested as having been seized from chaos forces and cleared for repurposing then perhaps something that suggests a lighter dose of nasty like “Tainted” from the chart above, or whatever. Although, I find the notion VERY unlikely given the usual treatment of even mildly tainted artifacts in the literature. “Profane” carries a pretty heavy connotation with it and is not suitable.