Yikes, hornets nest!
Let me attempt to clarify what Beyond had noted above:
I was attempting to imply what Josh also said: although plenty of skis are capable of skiing railroad tracks (such as the Cochise Josh mentioned, or any number of similar stiffish skis), they may be too stiff to bend on firm snow for all but the biggest, strongest guys, and therefore not good carvers. Solid groomer skis with good edgehold, yes, but not carvers. That was my distinction. I have bent up and gotten energy from 100+ skis, but they have all been softer skis, not planks. It takes some serious edge angle and commitment early on firm snow to say you are going to lay over a really wide ski on cement and trust it at an edge angle of 10 degrees from perpendicular. You have to know it is going to hold, and you have to be able to bend the sucker and manage pressure and energy.
yes, park and ride is carving, but you can only accomplish that on low angle terrain. At higher speeds, a good skier needs pressure management. It is a good place to start, though. I am not against any type of skiing: what frustrates me as a retailer (having to guide customers toward a ski, with tons of low-grade reviews floating out there in the ether) is that so many skis these days get a "it carves great" review, almost uniformly, yet I am confident that, as Beyond noted, they are skidding the last part of the turn, and can't define what actually is a carved turn, and what is a skid finish to check speed in lieu of pressure management and using the fall line for speed control. I see carving as a pretty high-level skill, and the ability to arc and ski dynamically, say a random115mm ski underfoot, with lots of tip and tail rocker and no metal, on firm snow, as an elite skill. Top .1% of all skiers kind of skill.
Most people that I refer to as considering a ski to be a good "carver" aren't even capable of doing a park and ride. It is more like a park and skid. The industry often markets these wider skis as being "great carvers", knowing full well that most people buy them because they skid and turn easier than a narrower, hookier ski, which may actually want to carve and will talk balk if you try to push it around. All is well and good, until a high-level skier comes along, looking specifically for an all-mountain ski that is versatile, yet fun, energetic, and dynamic on groomers, and then purchases the aforementioned ski based on it's purported "carving" ability, and the ski ends up here on the buy/sell forum. Sure, some people are happy with skis that don't punish heel-pushing and bad habits, and others would like something a little stronger. Based on my interactions with customers, there is a lot of annoyance and confusion out there as to what many ski designs are truly capable of, rather than what some (manufacturers and overly enthusiastic reviewers) claim they are capable of. Also, what the skis are truly good at, vs. what they can barely accomplish, at a minimal level. Nobody expects that a GS race ski will somehow magically transform the powder skiing ability of a struggling skier; those claims are never made, and would be laughed away if they were. Yet seemingly all wide deeper snow skis are constantly noted as being great carvers (claims which are taken seriously) to the detriment of those actually looking for versatile all-mountain carvers.
It seems that there is a dis-connect in terms of how the industry defines a standard for carving these days.