Wednesday, May 30, 2012

How engineering affects your vocabulary

The other day, a friend of mine had some kind of seizure. After the first few reflexive first-aid actions , I gave a call to the ambulance. And when the person asked me to describe the symptoms, to my horror, I said "she is vibrating"! I immediately realized then, the effect that all these years of obsessive engineering had had on me. And then when I sat down one day to scrutinize my lexicon, I realized that well, vibrating was not even the tip of the ice-berg. 

Here are a few from the list

1. Infinite, Infi: Probably the most common of them all. Used to describe a feeling of extreme. "I am infi hungry!", "Infi bored", "Infi Assignments!" , "Infi pain!" "Infi peace!"

2. N: Synonym for infinite, the above statements might just as well go with n. Maybe they are just too lazy to say all the four syllables of infinite or just too much saturated from coding or linear algebra. "It was n easy da!"

3. Random: No, they won't call you crazy or mad, they won't call you weird. They will call you random or arbit (short for arbitrary).  This word goes for anything that doesn't connect the dots for them. "He is one random fellow!" "It was such a random paper (question paper was nothing what syllabus would have dictated)" "Random Intern" "Random presentation"

4. Function:  Not as popular as the above, but I have definitely seen a lot of people using that. e.g  "Your response to deciding the menu would be a function of your hunger, taste and budget". Mathematics professors love this word the most!

5. Put: This word is like a chameleon, different meanings in different contexts! "Put treat" "Put cash!" "Put eminem!"

6. Crash: We love this word, and most often end up doing in lectures. "Crash" our engineering synonym for "sleep", is what most of us need / want the most, but we end up doing infi-random philosophizing when it's time to crash!

7. Pack: We don't say, "Ok let's get over with it", instead, "Let's pack". "Pack the movie!" "Pack that girl!". I don't know where we derived that use from, but nonetheless, it fits very well in our daily interactions.

8. Pained, Loaded: Shakespear would have used troubled, bothersome, or any of the old archaics. A polished engineer would use stressful. But in a college, this part is an integral word of almost every sentence of a pessimist nerd, and on the night before exams, pretty much everyone! "Pained in life" "Pain prof!" "Pain assignment!"

9. Threshold: When Joey, in one of the episodes of F.R.I.E.N.D.S tells a beautician before she does his eyebrows, that "Hey lady, my threshold for pain is very high", I couldn't stop grinning and had to include that word in this list.

10. Light: No, not the light from Bibles 'Let there be light'. When we say light, we mean that the problem is not going to be a pain. Think of it as an antonym for pain.

I will add what Norman Lewis says after the end of every few chapters in his book Word power made easy "Now you will consciously see more of these words every day", and you'll say, "Hmm, there you go buddy!"

I know these are not the only reincarnates out there, but these were the only ones I could recall. 
Let me know of more!


  1. Nicely compiled. :) But I guess its Insti lingo rather than 'engineering lingo'. And interestingly, I came across a PhD theses just on insti lingo. Check it out!

  2. Yo swamy! Thanks man! I know it seems to be a subset of that thesis you are talking about. But this one doesn't include all the insti lingo, like 'fart', 'sly', 'epic', 'arbit' and all.. Only the ones which we inherited from our pure 'engineering'

  3. I am amazed by this incident. When your friend was "vibrating" and your on the phone calling for an ambulance. The only thought which comes to your mind is about your lingos?!?!? Amazing! :) Now that something only Engineering can think of. :)

  4. Haha... Good one.
    That "vibrating" thing happened to me also. Just a few days back in my internship, the AC was too extreme -- it was so cold that I started biting my teeth. Of course, I was "vibrating" as well, which is also the answer that I gave to one of my friends who called me then.

    1. BTW, you forgot "peace" and "thingy". :P (Maybe it's more of insti lingo, but I've heard it elsewhere as well.)
      "Everything is a thing, and is referred to as 'thingy'" :D

    2. But that isn't inherited from Engineering ;)