4 responses to ““Simply” Wrong”

  1. gasstationwithoutpumps

    I don’t think we want to eliminate “precisely” and “accurately” from engineering discourse, though I agree that most sentence adverbs are so overused as to be meaningless.

  2. FrauTech

    I like this post. Reminds me of the time engineering was working on solving a particular hardware issue we had. The first couple prototypes did not fix the issue. A couple of the fellows in another department were just shocked we hadn’t solved this yet. One brought up his Navy experience was some sort of comment to the effect of, “when I was in the Navy if we had something that wasn’t working we just devoted all our resources to it and fixed it.” Seems to undermine that engineering is a process. That the whole point of prototypes and testing is that you don’t always get it right the first time.

    1. Fluxor

      Reminds me of my old director that wanted 100% perfect prototypes. Makes me wonder why we even prototype anything if the requirement is perfection.

  3. Sebastian Abbott

    @gasstationwithoutpumps: thanks for those suggestions – they would also fit into my book of adverb horrors! How precise is precise? Are we talking tenths, hundredths or nanos?

    @Frautech and Fluxor, we often have the opposite problem: that the prototypes are easier to produce exactly. It’s when you need to produce millions of parts that statistics start to get in the way. That’s when Navy CSI forensics are required rather than the soldiery!