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What's Your Favorite or Most Used Idiom from the World of Engineering?

  • 1.  What's Your Favorite or Most Used Idiom from the World of Engineering?

    Posted 03-07-2022 12:34 PM
    Here's a potentially fun topic for a Monday. What's your favorite or most used idiom from the world of engineering and why do you like it? Conversely, what idioms do you find annoying or over used? We had a moderator call last week and the idiom "grease the skids" was used prompting this post.. An idiom (I had forgotten and had to look up) is a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words.

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    Mitch Winkler P.E., M.ASCE
    Houston, TX
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  • 2.  RE: What's Your Favorite or Most Used Idiom from the World of Engineering?

    Posted 03-09-2022 07:51 AM

    I'm sorry, Mitchell  I totally dropped the ball on this one despite thinking 24/7 before I called it a day and hit the hay.  I thought I would get my act together the next day, so went back to the drawing board as soon as I had my first cup of joe.  To make a long story short, I found this task no piece of cake and no lightbulb went off in my head, so I sadly I pulled the plug on this effort.  I hope someone else has a brainstorm and posts their thoughts, but if not cut your readers some slack because they may have bigger fish to fry this week!



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    Becky Waldrup, P.E., M.ASCE
    Senior Manager, Government Engineer Programs
    American Society of Civil Engineers
    Reston, VA
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  • 3.  RE: What's Your Favorite or Most Used Idiom from the World of Engineering?

    Posted 03-14-2022 10:43 AM
    Whew, Becky, you hit the ball out of the park!

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    Dudley McFadden P.E., D.WRE, M.ASCE
    Principal Civil Engineer
    Roseville CA
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  • 4.  RE: What's Your Favorite or Most Used Idiom from the World of Engineering?

    Posted 04-08-2022 10:14 AM
    now there's some government work (thinking?) for you.  Thank you

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    Sarah Simon P.E., ENV SP, M.ASCE
    Founding Partner
    Ipswich MA
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  • 5.  RE: What's Your Favorite or Most Used Idiom from the World of Engineering?

    Posted 04-22-2022 08:02 PM
    Hi Becky! Your response is the bee's knees!  Put a feather in your cap and pat yourself on the back!

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    Reed Brockman P.E., M.ASCE
    ASCE Pre-College Outreach Committee Member
    Chair, Public Awareness & Outreach Committee, Boston Society of Civil Engineers (BSCES/ASCE)
    Vice President, AECOM
    Boston MA
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  • 6.  RE: What's Your Favorite or Most Used Idiom from the World of Engineering?

    Posted 03-10-2022 02:11 PM

    Mitch, thank you for picking up my slack. I have lost track of time travelling and working between cities. I have to laugh because I am still finding my way around these forums and had just looked up "idioms" for posting. In the case of "Greasing the Skids", as it a term thrown around by the more "experienced" members of the team and, as a younger member, I was able to grasp on understanding of its meaning based on the context of the discussion without knowing what a "skid" was at the time. It seems that some Idioms are the verbal picture for the old saying "A picture is worth a thousand words".

    "Greasing the Skids" is a very useful tool in project management and stakeholder engagement. I just need to figure out where to drop the discussion.

    I am curious as to what idioms some have heard that they know must be a decade or two before their time. 



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    James Williams P.E., M.ASCE
    Principal/Owner
    POA&M Structural Engineering, PLC
    Yorktown, VA
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  • 7.  RE: What's Your Favorite or Most Used Idiom from the World of Engineering?

    Posted 03-10-2022 02:11 PM
    Get your ducks in a row!

    One of our department's most favorite engineers would walk by someone's desk and ask, "How long are you going to milk this project!"

    Informal submittal reviews and getting to one of those client decision trees, "We won't count our chickens before they hatch!"

    "Run this up the ladder.

    When we saw directors and managers coming out or heading to your department head's office at 6:50 am and the 1st shifts starts at 7:30, someone would say "The dookie has hit the fan!"

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    James Williams P.E., M.ASCE
    Principal/Owner
    POA&M Structural Engineering, PLC
    Yorktown, VA
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  • 8.  RE: What's Your Favorite or Most Used Idiom from the World of Engineering?

    Posted 03-10-2022 03:24 PM
    Calls to the service or "help" desk. After any engineer spent more than 3 minutes on the phone with the help desk, some engineering comedian would pass by and offer this advice, "Check the short between your seat and the keyboard!". This is more of a joke that caught on with the increased use of computers than an idiom.

    On occasion, I offer that and an apology to customer service personnel after more than five (5) minutes on a phone call.

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    James Williams P.E., M.ASCE
    Principal/Owner
    POA&M Structural Engineering, PLC
    Yorktown, VA
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