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Engineeringlish

I won't wish for the day when my son will calendarize a meeting on Outlook just to present his budget proposal for an allowance increase in the family conference room, but I know that corporate BS is creeping into me whether I like it or not. Lately my wife asked me if I am free for the rest of the week to take a leave and I said, check on my calendar if it's doable.

Down went the wifely tolerance level.

Funny how meeting attendees, if they are not the wallflower type, enact a spitting contest on who can spew out the most number of corporate lingo in an hour. They're not entirely different from guests who'd get hold of the videoke mike like it's made of gold. And there's an e-mail going around with a bingo card in which you can cross out the phrases you will hear in a typical meeting (core competency, bottomed out, pulled in, great job!). There are not so many times that I want to shout bingo but I think everybody will be winners anyway.

If there is anything to blame for the lack of english proficiency among engineers, which therefore makes engineering symposiums a pain in the ears to attend, it is engineeringlish. Pictures can speak a thousand words, but data can speak for itself. Unfortunately, engineers wanted data to construct sentences on their own too. Patch a trend graph, a few capability indices and Brown-Forsythes here and there, buy a new dress shirt (should be checkered or plaid) and khaki pants, top with engineeringlish and you have a world-class presentation? No.

We've been using the left brain for most of our lives that it's got muscles of its own, and we want everything automated. But isn't subject-verb agreement and the proper placement of apostrophes as simple as input equals output plus accumulation? Use of corporate lingo cannot hide lack of proficiency. It's like putting roses on stale fish instead of spraying air freshener. We can get away with it with the logic that since these first-world counterparts succeeded without mastering the queen's language but with corporate cliches, so can we.

We have our own worlds, thanks to inaccessible industrial zones and company confidentiality. 7,000 people are using engineeringlish at the local campus, on top of several thousands more worldwide, streaming in cyberspace and bridge meetings, so can we be wrong?

They make it to well-respected dictionaries in due time, though. I have to keep myself sane by reading a good book. I am not infallible myself and lately I was thinking, wow I sound professional spewing out "calendarize", "gain leverage" and "heads-up" but as a personal choice, a well-packaged english sits well with me without adding up to my mental clutter.

How about some low-hanging fruits?

***

Some examples:

Bottomed out: adjective. Reached the lowest of low points. Example: Our stocks have bottomed out due to 9/11, its lowest ever since the dotcom bubble burst of 2000. And you're not counting employee morale yet.

Push-out: verb. To delay. Example: You want me to push-out the QA gate again so that you'll meet delivery? Come on, Haydee, I'll assure you a bunch of test failures before this month ends.

Pull-in: verb. To accomplish tasks ahead of schedule. Example: Although the schedule was pulled-in by a week, Arnold wasn't able to escape Dado's axe as the process was still not certified for high-volume production.

Hand-to-mouth: adjective. Lack of surplus or inventory. Example: Pull-in the resolution of this process issue, Dexter. We're already hand-to-mouth; we have excess capacity in the downstreams because there are no more raw materials to process.

Productize: verb. Turn a concept into profitable reality. Example: What's the point of your traveling without forecast when the date to productize the firmware is not yet final?

Low-hanging fruits: noun. Items which are well-within reach, goals that can easily be achieved. Example: Getting that design win is one of our low-hanging fruits; we should be ready with the customer contract a workweek from now.

“Engineeringlish”

  1. Anonymous calla lily Says:

    at ang mga example a...pang-intel pa rin ang characters.

  2. Anonymous lala Says:

    where is my left brain located?

    i may have misplaced it.