Engineers often speak a language that, while it sounds much like the language everybody else speaks, really is very different. This is because even if engineers refrain from using the various technical expressions peculiar to their trade, many words have a different meaning when they come from an engineer.

How to understand engineers.

When engineer says: Engineer means:
A number of different approaches are being tried. We are still grasping at straws
We’re working on a fresh approach to the problem. We just hired three kids fresh out of Uni.
Close project coordination. We know who to blame.
Very complex project structure. We don’t know who to blame.
Preliminary operational test were inconclusive. The darn thing blew up as soon as we threw the switch.
Test results were extremely gratifying. We are so surprised that the stupid thing works.
It is in process. It is so wrapped up in red tape that the situation is hopeless.
The entire concept will have to be abandoned. The only person who understood the thing quit.
We’ll look into it. Forget it! We have enough problems for now.
Give us the benefit of your thoughts. We’ll listen to what you say as long as it doesn’t interfere with what we’ve already done.
See me / Let’s discuss. Come into my office, I’m lonely.
All new! No parts are interchangeable with the previous design.
Rugged. Too heavy to lift.
Lightweight. Lighter than rugged.
Years of development. One finally worked.
Energy saving. Achieved when the power switch is off.
Low maintenance. Impossible to fix if broken.
Evidently! Gee, that’s funny!
Fully adjustable. So unstable it has to be trimmed all the time.
State of the art technology. Expensive and not too stable.
Leading edge technology. Very expensive, very unstable.
Mainstream/tried technology. Copied from someone else.
Low cost technology. Using video game parts.
Well proven technology. Obsolete construction, spare parts will be unavailable from next year.
Environment friendly process. There is a green label on the box.
Tested and adjusted. We shook it and then it worked.
Requires specialist handling. You have to know where to knock.
I am still in the process of getting familiar with the equipment. I haven’t looked at it yet.