[antennaware] Something old; something new
L. B. Cebik
Sat, 24 Jul 1999 07:28:11 -0400 (EDT)
After distributing the Keys to Understanding Scientific Discussion and
Literature, I received a wonderful array of appreciative notes, equally
divided between those who vaguely remembered the list and welcomed an old
friend and those who had never before seen it and felt guilty for having
used a column-1 expression on at least one occasion. 2 separate sources
sent me copies of another item originating at the same time (about a
quarter century ago, I think). While equally fascinating, it had more to
do with administration and management than it did with electronics of the
sort that interests us.
However, if necessity is the mother of invention, then play is surely the
father. So let's review the original item and then see what electronic
damage we may do to it.
How To Win At Wordsmanship
After years of hacking through etymological thickets at the U.S. Public
Health Service, a 63-year-old official named Philip Broughton hit upon a
sure-fire method for converting frustration into fulfillment (jargonwise).
Euphemistically called the Systematic Buzz Phrase Projector, Broughton's
system employs a lexicon of 30 carefully chosen "buzzwords":
Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
0. integrated 0. management 0. options
1. total 1. organizational 1. flexibility
2. systematized 2. monitored 2. capability
3. parallel 3. reciprocal 3. mobility
4. functional 4. digital 4. programming
5. responsive 5. logistical 5. concept
6. optional 6. transitional 6. time-phase
7. synchronized 7. incremental 7. projection
8. compatible 8. third-generation 8. hardware
9. balanced 9. policy 9. contingency
The Procedure is simple. Think of any three digit number, then select the
corresponding buzzword from each column. For instance, number 257 produces
"systematized logistical projection," a phrase that can be dropped into
virtually any report with that ring of decisive, knowledgeable authority.
"No one will have the remotest idea of what you are talking about," says
Broughton, "but the important thing is that they're not about to admit it."
Two facts struck me. First, every ham wishes he or she could come up with
the key electronic invention that would solve the world's problems, make
one rich beyond belief, and write one's name large in all future history
books. Second, all that is needed is inspiration.
Since the first premise is set, all we need is a source of inspiration.
That's where Broughton's word-play device comes into play. By judiciously
selecting words for 3 columns, we can inspire ourselves to create
the electronics of tomorrow. So I made up my list of inspirational
Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
0. integrated 0. encoded 0. optimizer
1. asynchonous 1. programmable 1. converter
2. analog 2. monitored 2. reactor
3. parallel 3. reciprocal 3. transducer
4. functional 4. demodulated 4. interface
5. transferrable 5. logic-based 5. buffer
6. digital 6. transformational 6. filter
7. synchronized 7. incremental 7. instrument
8. compatible 8. fifth-generation 8. regenerator
9. balanced 9. time-phase 9. generator
Be careful: some 3-digit inventions may already exist, such as 654.
However, I have never seen a 770 or a 049. You may revise the list to suit
your special interests. But there is fertile inventive ground, even in
this preliminary cut. So while you rewrite the list, I am off to the shop.
I do not know today if I shall try to make an 898 or a 542.
Note to list moderators: since my office is now thoroughly cleaned out,
this will be the last of my off-topic notes for a long time to come.
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