Industry Jargon

September 28, 2010

Dear Editor:

I'm a consistent reader of your magazine and always found some interesting items in every issue, although some guessworks were needed. I'm baffled by the term "stainless" you used twice in the article "Grade Control Mold ..." in January 2005 (page 78). Can you tell me what it is?

— Michael Nieh

Dear Mr. Nieh:

This question holds a lesson for me, as it has to do with industry jargon. Few journalists are fond of jargon, but I sometimes use it in order to bring insights to a story in a reasonable amount of reading time. I strive to employ jargon sparingly, and only when the terms are widely recognized in the industry.

In hindsight, my use of the term "stainless" as a noun in our January Buying File story on curb-and-gutter pavers (page 78) clearly does not belong on a list of terms considered to be widely understood. I apologize for the confusion.

GOMACO has a special troweling section at the rear of its curb-and-gutter molds that is made of stainless-steel plate. GOMACO sometimes refers to this section as a "stainless." It is said to be an exclusive feature, so it was unwise of me to use that bit of jargon in a story addressed to a broad range of readers, many of whom could be unfamiliar with that design.

GOMACO's brochure for the GT-3600 curb-and-gutter machine includes an illustration that points out the area where the "stainless" is located. You'll find it on page 13. You can download the brochure using the link on the company's website under the heading "For More Information" on this page:

Thank you for reading Construction Equipment.