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RE: Definition of Structural Engineering for High School Students

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> "Tell me, Mr Hoover, what are your interests?"
> "Madam, I am an Engineer."
> "Really? I took you for a gentleman."
> - Herbert Hoover
> Conversation on making the acquaintance of a lady on a steamship -
> apparently comment meant as a compliment

For those wondering why this would be a "compliment," in English as well
as American society in the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries a
"gentleman" did not have a "career" nor a "job." He was "above working"
for a living; he owned things and had people to do all the working for
him. That's why the lady asked what were his "interests." I.e., what did
he do with his time.

Thus, for the lady to comment that she "mistook" Mr. Hoover for a
"gentleman" was to say that he looked as if he were of the "non-working"
or "leisure" class: A "gentleman" by the current definition of that day.

He looked "rich" in other words.


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