Re: Terminology

Jim Betz


I'm a little surprised by the fact that no one has mentioned this (this
time around) ...

There were definitely two 'languages' regarding a lot of the terminology
in use by railroaders. Specifically the use of different names for things
that occurred between the road/field crews (the guys on the 'ground')
and the engineering departments (the guys in the 'offices'). Neither
was "wrong" - it was just what words they used - every day.
The 'industry publications' tended to use the same terms that the
guys in the offices used ... it was who they were dealing with daily.


I'm also considerably surprised ... and even a little bit disappointed ...
that guys I consider to be 'giants in our hobby' have -again- deemed it
important to roll out this recurring topic and opine at length on the
'correctness' of one term or another.
To me - both sides are well known and understood by the members
of this list and we should just give it a rest.
In addition - whether I call it a switch or a turnout ... you all know
what I'm talking about ... so what's the big deal about which word I
use? Are you a brakeman or a 'suit'? I try to modify my usage based
upon the role I think you fill.


On the other hand - if I call something a "ponger" just because I
find it difficult to spell/type/say "diaphragm" when the entire
industry and most other hobbyists call it by only one name ... I'm
'wrong' (although you still know what I'm talking about).

BUT - when we, as hobbyists, use our own term within the hobby
for something that the industry (either segment) didn't ever use ...
I agree that it's 'wrong' for us to do so. Even though I know what
you are talking about when you use those terms - I tend to correct

===> Hopefully, when I do so, I do it in a way that doesn't
offend you and you learn and start using the correct
term rather than an incorrect one.

My preferred method of doing that 'correction' is to simply use
the correct term when responding - without pointing out what I'm
doing nor even without my emphasizing the correct term - and
you 'pick up' on it without having had it "pointed out to you".
- Jim B.

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