[Puzzleblogger Kevan Choset, September 22, 2005 at 12:06pm] Trackbacks

There's a profession whose name has 12 letters. If you insert a hyphen after the second letter, you get an apt description for the profession of a certain prominent public official.

Sasha (mail):
This one is very easy.
9.22.2005 1:07pm
David Price:
9.22.2005 1:30pm
Brian Erst:
Don't forget Tom DeLay - prominent public official and ex-exterminator!
9.22.2005 1:58pm
Kevan Choset (mail):
OK, then what 7-letter occupation, if you place a hyphen after the second letter, becomes an apt description of a movie character portrayed in an Oscar-winning performance?
9.22.2005 2:18pm
WRONG! Arnold will always be the Terminator
9.22.2005 3:08pm
Cheburashka (mail):
I agree wrong - there are only three professions in the United States: Lawyer, Doctor, and Accountant.

Terminator and Exterminator are just jobs.
9.22.2005 3:11pm
johnshade1 (mail):
exmarty? exrocky? exnorma?
9.22.2005 3:16pm
Only three professions, huh? Everyone else has to work for a living? :^)
9.22.2005 3:17pm
Cheburashka (mail):
Being a Professional is different from having a job. For one thing, professionals have licensing and ethical obligations to both customers and society with special legal importance that ordinary occupations lack.

When the SEC requires that disclosures to the market be signed by exterminators, or state law obligates insurers to pay for services that an exterminator deems exterminatingly necessary, I'll change my mind.

How long is exterminator school, anyway? Does any court recognize an exterminator-client privilege? (Or would it be an exterminator-vermin privilege?)

And this doesn't even begin to address Terminator-related issues. With whom do you file a complaint about improper sexual advances by your Terminator?
9.22.2005 3:50pm
Jeff Dege (mail):
Everyone else has to work for a living?

A profession requires:

- A professional organization
- Mastery of a standard body of knowledge determined by that professional organization
- Testing and licensure to ensure that mastery

The Bar Associations and the Bar exams, the Medical Associations and the Medical Boards, etc.

That said, there are other professions that didn't make it into the list. Engineering is a profession. It takes more than a degree to get that little P.E. tacked onto your name.
9.22.2005 3:56pm
You're right about professions, but you've forgotten (at least) a couple. Pharmacists and Engineers are also licensed professionals. The term Engineer isn't solely applied to Professional Engineers, but the guys that design bridges and whatnot are certainly licensed, and try to get a new construction permit without an Engineer's stamp on the plans.
9.22.2005 4:02pm
So like a Massage Therapist, right?

No, I get it. I just don't think you can restrict it to three - engineering is one big example that comes to mind.

Did Ahnold get another contract? Wouldn't he be the Ex-Terminator?
9.22.2005 4:06pm
Cody Hatch (mail) (www):
Cheburashka is correct that "profession" is generally not the same thing as an "occupation". The clergy, medical doctors, lawyers, and military officers were the only historical professions.

Cheburashka, however, says there are only three, with the qualifier that these are the only professions "in the United States". I believe that he is quite wrong about this - even in the fairly loose modern sense of the word, professions tend to be highly specialized, require extensive training, to be self-selecting, and to be self-regulating. A good rule of thumb is that a profession is anything with a code of ethics that, if breached, may result in you being barred from that occupation. This last function is performed for lawyers by bar associations, accountants by the AICPA, medical practitioners by the FSMB and NBME, and engineers by various state boards. Those four are clearly professions. Most people would still count clergy and military officers, and there's a pretty good argument for academics. So, I'd put the number of professions at a minimum of four, and probably seven. Three is obviously wrong. :-)

To get back to the original question, I really can't see how an exterminator could be technically considered a profession, rather than an occupation. That being said, the word is often used (albeit incorrectly) as a synonym for occupation, and the distinction was crucial for solving the puzzle.
9.22.2005 4:12pm
Funny enough, "Pesticide Applicator" IS a profession that is licensed by most states . . .
9.22.2005 4:14pm
Cody Hatch (mail) (www):
Damn, I'm too slow!

Also, I obviously meant the distinction "wasn't" crucial. :-(
9.22.2005 4:18pm
Kevan Choset (mail):
All that profession business aside, the second answer I was looking for was "Deliverer." You may argue that deliverer is not a profession, but certainly one needs to be certified to be a de-liverer, as Hannibal Lecter was.
9.22.2005 4:20pm
David Berke:
I disagree. Certifiable, perhaps, but not necessarily certified.
9.22.2005 4:23pm
Cody Hatch (mail) (www):
...worst...pun...ever. :-(
9.22.2005 4:24pm
Kevan, "deliverer" has nine letters . . .
9.22.2005 4:27pm
I was trying to think of an Oscar-winning former philosopher to justify "ex-Humer," but none came to mind.
9.22.2005 5:12pm
Kevan Choset (mail):
rico: Yeah, I'm not so good with the counting.
9.22.2005 5:50pm
Shelby (mail):
I'm not so good with the counting

It's official, he a no-a-count puzzleblogger.
9.22.2005 6:25pm
Edward A. Hoffman (mail):
I remember hearing long ago that there were six professions: accountant, architect, attorney, engineer, physician and teacher. I agree that this list is too narrow; nurses, dentists, and psychologists should qualify, and I'm sure there are others which just don't occur to me at the moment. Does anyone know where this list originated? My source may have been making it up, but I think he was relying on some sort of authoritative listing.
9.22.2005 7:58pm
Josh Poulson (mail) (www):

A profession requires:
- A professional organization
- Mastery of a standard body of knowledge determined by that professional organization
- Testing and licensure to ensure that mastery

On that basis, there are plenty more professions, like Project Management, Law Enforcement Trainer, Product Developer, etc. (All of which I've considered in terms of certification.) Doctors, Lawyers, and Accountants just got it all recognized the most broadly.
9.22.2005 8:57pm
Syd Henderson (mail):
I think under those requirements veterinary specialists may also qualify.
9.22.2005 11:42pm
James of England:
My understanding is that the term comes from "Professio", and refers to the requirement of ethical oath swearing (as opposed to loyalty). Hence: Barristers; doctors; and priests. The term becomes looser, becoming more like "skilled worker". I'm not sure if it was in this blog that someone referenced Reagan's quote about the second oldest profession being relatively similar to the first, but it seems like a good example of the modern use. Googling Define:Professional turns up respectable definitions that range from "doctors, lawyers, teachers(?)" through including "professional cooks" and "football", to including anything requiring a bachelor's and application of theory. In short, I think that Kevin is right to include whatever he wants in his definition, since the restrictive meaning is now archaic.
9.23.2005 1:19am
meep (mail) (www):
Actuaries fit under this as well... the professional organization is the American Academy of Actuaries, there are a few different actuarial education/credentialing societies (depending on whether you're in property&casualty insurance or life/pension/health insurance... there's also risk management in both). There's an Actuarial Standards Board, and an Actuarial Board of Counseling and Discipline (for ethical/professional violations).

You probably don't hear about this as much, as there are lots more doctors, lawyers, and accountants than there are actuaries.
9.23.2005 6:51am
Jeremy (mail):
Parliamentarians are a profession. They have an ethical code that is enforced. Tests need to be passed, etc.
9.23.2005 9:11pm