Standards

Dilbert.com

Some years ago I was working on some European Standards (CEN/CENELEC) and we held one of our meetings in Dublin. On the final day a group of us did a conducted bus tour around the Dublin area. The tour guide was brilliant. He played the part of the stereotypical Irishman, had the passengers in fits of laughter, and cleaned up on ‘tips’. At a lunch stop one of my Scandinavian colleagues asked my what a Limerick was. I replied that he was unlikely to understand a Limerick as they were usually based on a play on words and were invariably rude. However to demonstrate, I told him the few that I could remember (courtesy of ‘The New Oxford Book Of Light Verse’):

When Titian was grinding rose madder
His model was posed on a ladder
Her position to Titian
Suggested coition
So he dashed up the ladder and had her.

There was a young Fellow of King’s
Who cared not for whores and such things:
His height of desire
Was a boy in the choir
With a bum like a jelly on springs.

On the flight back home I made up a Limerick for the ‘Standards Group’:

Writing a Standard for CEN
Requires at least twenty men
Five to propose
What five can oppose
And ten to contradict them.

Author: Peter

Web researcher

8 thoughts on “Standards”

  1. I too have the stained T-shirt from EEC standards meetings. All the well-known national stereotypes were represented – achieving absolutely nothing at huge cost to their companies and associated interests.

  2. Well it was ‘fun’ Araminta and we were able to travel around Europe a lot at our companies expense, and perhaps in a lot of cases at our Government’s. But rather than producing competitive standards it was an exercise in futility (as in the cartoon).

  3. Peter – My fading memory still retains the pleasurable travel involved in my membership of various Standards Committees (in-house at first, European later) but, rather embarrassingly, I cannot recall a single item or process that I helped to standardise. 😦

  4. The usual conclusion was that all local standards were ‘grand-fathered’ which meant that local products retained a monopoly and no Euro-standardisation was achieved.

  5. Peter: I hold in my rather palsied left hand a 19.5 volt power supply for my low cost Dell Inspiron laptop ($300 Amazon, 2011). On the backside (Janus take note) is pasted a 2 inch by 4 inch label (50mm by 100mm if you prefer). Inscribed thereon are no less than 23 standards to which this modest device complies, they range from UL through CSA to NOM? GS? and IV?? Also in evidence are two large “Made In China” announcements and a 20 digit part number. I weep.

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