Titular Titillation

Jan 3, 24 • News



The practice of using more elaborate or prestigious titles to describe a job or position than its conventional or common name is often referred to as “euphemism” or “title inflation.” Calling a janitor a “sanitation engineer” would be an example of using a euphemistic or inflated title to make the job sound more sophisticated or important. This can be done for various reasons, such as to enhance the perceived status of the position or to make it more appealing. However, it’s important to note that the appropriateness and effectiveness of such terminology can vary, and some may view it as an attempt to mask the true nature of the job.


The home inspection industry is rife with these euphemistic titles. Inspectors with zero construction experience and little time in the profession will attempt to lure customers in using such puffery. For those of you in the market for an inspector I’ve made an attempt here to decode a few of these for you lest you fall under their sway.


Thermographer is the term adopted to glorify users of infrared cameras. I suggest “heat whisperer” or perhaps “infrared ninja”. Any inspector in the business for more than 15 minutes owns an infrared camera. They have limited uses. They are not magical devices used to see inside of walls. An infrared camera is just another tool in the box.


Sewer Scope Inspector is the grandiloquent term for someone who inserts a rather long endoscopic device into the sewer pipes of a building. I like the term “rotoscatographer”. Any plumber is qualified to perform this function. Home inspectors are not. Allowed by nonsensical Texas law? Yes. Qualified? Not a chance.


UAV Pilot (drone pilot) is the term used by people who play with drones when they should be working, exceptions being commercial drone operators like utility contractors, commercial roofers, law enforcement agencies, etc. I prefer “Sky Commander” or “Crashologist”. If the drone cost less than $10K it is a mere toy. Toys are not tools.


I could add a few of my own to the vernacular, but fear that they might actually become commonplace.


“Darkness Disruption Technician” – One who uses a flashlight.


“Elevation Engineer” – One who climbs a ladder.


“Fastener Manipulation Expert” – One who employs a screwdriver.


“Gravity Consultant” – One who uses a level.


“Hydraulic Scrutinizer” – One who uses a water pressure gauge.


“Doctor of Distance Divination” – One who utilizes a tape measure.


And finally, “Home Inspector” – This is a misnomer that has been promoted by the real estate industry brokers and salespeople. One cannot inspect a home. One can only inspect the house that has been made a home by its inhabitants.


And now off we go into 2024!