Sunday, November 2, 2008

Greek characters

No, not anyone from My Big Fat Greek Wedding or Uncle Jesse from Full House, I'm talking about glyphs (or "letters," for the linguistically challenged). Engineers love using symbols that normal people can't understand, and not because Greek characters make engineers feel smarter than everyone else; Greek characters remind engineers that they are smarter than everyone else—same with lawyers and Latin legal terms.

Learning new characters is no small task for Engineers. Not only does it strain their already poor language skills, they have to remember that when a foreign professor says "fee," he might mean φ, but this is just the price of superiority.

If confronted by an engineer spewing Greek characters like blather from a drunk, mention archaic English letters like Þ and Æ. Either his head will explode out of confusion or he'll ignore you—a win-win in my book.

Photo by shonk

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