Dueling jargons

Wilson Gray wilson.gray at RCN.COM
Mon Aug 30 13:53:33 UTC 2004

Back in the mid-'Fifties, when I was working for the Power Operating
and Maintenance Division of the Los Angeles Department of Water &
Power, if any piece of equipment involved in the generation and
distribution of electricity was in operation, it was said to be "on the
line" and if such a piece of equipment was not in operation for
whatever reason - broken or simply not in use - it was said to be "off
the line." From reading periodicals in the field of electric-power
generation, I knew that this bit of jargon was peculiar to the LADW&P.
Everywhere else in this field, the corresponding terms were "on line"
and "off line."

I draw no conclusions from this. I'm just putting it out there for its
historical interest, if any.

-Wilson Gray

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