Subtle Word Meangins

Subject: Subtle Word Meangins
From: Richard Lippincott <rlippinc -at- BEV -dot- ETN -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 1994 10:59:09 EST

Arlen made a point about word meanings, braces vs. brackets and rotate vs.

TRMOAS: About fifteen years ago, a tech writer was attempting to write an
inspection procedure for U.S. Air Force C-141 transport aircraft. The
inspection involved a section of metal near the auxiliary power unit, and
due to heat buildup the metal is never painted. The writer described this
section as "bare metal."

To the user in the field, "bare metal" does not mean "unpainted metal", it
means that the metal does not have a special hardness protective coating (this
coating is applied when the sheet metal is formed, and remains there for
the life of the metal).

Inspectors performed standard hardness tests on this area, and expected certain
readings for "bare metal." They didn't get them, and the immediate assumption
was a massive metal fatigue problem caused by APU heat. The entire C-141
fleet was immediatly grounded, and emergency plans begun to repair and
replace this section on all 250 aircraft.

Then they looked at the blueprints, and realized what the writer -really-
meant to say.

Needless to say, the tech manual was changed in a hurry.

Rick Lippincott
Eaton Semiconductor
rlippinc -at- bev -dot- etn -dot- com

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