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Re: SEMANTICS: Def. of "Joist" vs. "Beam"

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I think small and closely spaced is your key. The following definition is from Merriam Webster Online Dictionary
(  :
any of the small timbers or metal beams ranged parallel from wall to wall in a structure to support a floor or ceiling.
Bill Cain, S.E.
Berkeley CA
-----Original Message-----
From: Polhemus, Bill <BPolhemus(--nospam--at)>
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Sent: Mon, 1 May 2006 18:07:15 -0500
Subject: SEMANTICS: Def. of "Joist" vs. "Beam"

Just a little item here:

I am in a little dispute with a colleague over the use of the term in a

What is the definition of a "joist" (generically speaking) as distinct
from a "beam"? I say that what I'm looking at are "joists": They are
flexural members that directly accept the service loads, are laid
parallel to one another and are closely spaced.

He says they are "beams."  But maybe I'm putting too fine a point on it.

What say you?

William L. Polhemus, Jr. P.E.
Senior Associate
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. 
Engineers I Architects I Material Scientists
10235 West Little York, Suite 245
Houston, Texas 77040
P: 832-467-2177 F: 832-467-2178
http://www <blocked::http://www/> 

 <<Polhemus, Bill.vcf>>