Engineers. If you live in Calgary, there is a good chance you are an engineer, you are married to an engineer, you work with an engineer, you know an engineer, you’ve spotted an engineer, you’ve heard of an engineer, or you’ve thought about murdering an engineer in cold blood in a fit of temporary insanity.

The word engineer is considered a swear in many circles. But why? Is it because we are are logical, precise, and objective beings? If so, since when are those considered foibles?

So what if we start most sentences with “In theory,…” or commonly use the phrases “within an order of magnitude” or “as a first approximation?” Or who cares that our calculators have more buttons than a standard QWERTY keyboard, but no button with an equals sign? Seriously, does it matter that the salespeople at Future Shop and Memory Express cannot answer our questions?

And I will always maintain that there is absolutely nothing wrong with rearranging the contents of a dishwasher to optimize the dirty dish density. Why? Because it just makes sense, and it saves money to boot (oh dear mother-in-law, why do you fill my dishwasher with 4 large pots?!). And lastly, when somebody who is engaged in a scintillating conversation with an engineeer yawns, it is because he or she didn’t get enough sleep, why else?

For some odd reason, we engineers tend to also get the gears for our appearance. But let me tell you that we come in all shapes, sizes, and matters of fashion. For example, can you guess which of the 5 people depicted below are engineers?


Well, in this case, none of them are, but you saw where I was going with this.

In closing, I would like to know why we get such a bad rap? Some people will argue that we are boring, but I maintain that we are not boring, we just get excited about very boring stuff.

So poke fun and laugh at us as you may, make snide remarks under your breath as you pass us in the hallway – it’s okay. Because at the end of the day, you know damn well that engineers help keep a great number of industries chugging along nicely (all around the world).

ERTW, baby, ERTW!



  1. This article basically sums up engineers to a tee. I’m not an engineer, but I work with a bunch of them and much of this is true.


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