Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Principled Principal

I know someone very well who was recently promoted to "Principal Engineer" in his day job.  For reasons I cannot clearly understand, the company in which he works repeatedly confounds "Principal" and "Principle".  yes, they are nearly homonyms, and one would hope that a Principal would indeed be principled, both primarily and principally in principle.  But the proclivity of professional malapropism betwixt this pair of pragmatically appropriate paroles perplexes me.  Even the emailed announcement of the promotion was titled "Principle Engineer"... so this person I know has to keep correcting the subject line when colleagues write to congratulate him, and rib him for being publicly outed as being "principled".


  1. What's so hard about it? He engineers principle, right?

  2. The Principal Eng is sort of like a lab's Principal investigator, or an orchestra's Principal (first chair) player. One would HOPE that the Principal adheres to strong principles. The conundrum I was pointing out here, is a large corporate organization's inability to differentiate the difference between the suffixes pal & ple. That's all. =)

  3. My school's 2 principals principally deal with unprincipled children, many who are princes in the eyes of their principal guardians. I also have a colleague who uses pince-nez principally. She did visit the Principality of Monaco last summer.


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