2016/10/11 Civil engineering

To be sure, I learn every day new words the meanings of which I don't know. Most of them I have never seen before. Some of them I have probably seen before but I don't understand.

But today, I came across a word, more precisely an expression that is composed of two distinct words, whose meaning I was sure I knew but in fact didn't know.

That is civil engineering. At first, I thought it is an expression for engineering conducted by a layperson. But, according to Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, it means "the design, building and repair of roads, bridges canals, etc."

How come? The teacher who introduced this word for me explained, "Originally, when it came to engineering, it was about killing people. It was, as it were, military engineering. But there came about another type of engineering that was not concerned about murdering. This is civil engineering."

Hubris about knowledge is often just a manifestation of culturelessness. What is worse, to be cultureless is to be ignorant of the very fact that you are uncultured.