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Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI, CDT
Senior Member
Username: rliebing

Post Number: 1150
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - 08:21 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

by Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI, CDT, Cincinnati, OH

Be honest, now, do you do some things in a very complex manner, to make things simpler? Get my drift?

Are we to the point where the demands upon and around us are so convoluted and complex that we seek the tranquility of the simplistic? Don’t we talk “funny” [politically correct, I guess] using words, phrases and nomenclature [oops! did one right there!] so different from the way we did in the past? It is now, for example, “exterior” and no longer “outside”. It is now “documentation” and not always “drawings and specs”!

We old folks drop our chins drop at some damn fool “talk” that goes on from street rap to the overly sophisticated interplay of verbiage utilized by the more affluent personages that we encounter periodically-- oh, my Lord, I’m infected!!! Secretaries are now Clerical Support personnel, or Administrative Assistants. Bosses are now CEOs, or occupants of the corner offices. Schools are now educational [maybe some of that goes on] facilities. Factories are now plants, production facilities, manufacturing entities!!!! [they just don’t have the old dirt and grime about them. Floor coverings are no longer flooring, wood strips, tile, but rather resinous coatings, carpet tile, and resilient sheet goods. Brick is now masonry facing; block be concrete masonry units. And as specifiers you know the list goes on and on.

The frightening part is the infectious intrusion into our younger professionals. Short as they are on construction knowledge and material information and insight, they seek now to over-document things to the point of, yes, “Simplistic Complexity [SC]". How else do you account for wall/partitions designators that involve a symbol and seven other indicators of some piece of construction data? Can’t you just call it “Wall 3” and use cryptic but informative notes to explain the construction? Think of a typical floor plan as complex as they now are, with a zillion of these multi-element designators and their allied indicators-- where, oh where, has the “white space” gone? Guys, you don’t simplify already necessarily complex drawings by use of multi-element designators!!!

[To see article with graphic. Sorry I could not make it clickable - Colin]

We need to sincerely revisit clear, concise, complete and correct! And we need to extend this to our [well, the staff’s] drawings. We need to stop inventing new wheels that become part of the problem in lieu of solving the problems. That is utter nonsense! In addition, we have to educate others that documenting everything of projects is not necessarily helpful, much less right and proper. We don’t need to justify our existence, but we do need to create document that communicate in better and directly usable terms.

Simplistic speech may, to some, seem harsh or abrupt, but direct is also a trait included that may not be all that bad. The vernacular of construction documentation really needs to be cleansed of the almost nonsensical “simplistic complexity” rut that we are in and which our younger colleagues seem destine to continue, perpetuate and maximize-- uh, that means they’re going to keep doing things the same way as now, and will take very opportunity to increase “SC” [see legend for definition of the acronym designation of this relevant phrase applicable to this pertinent point!]. KISSing has never been bad [in either context] and may well be what we need to resurrect now to increase clarity in our documents, conversations, and cither communications. Surely we cannot continue to see, use and expand the infamous “SC”. [Ibid].

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