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Kidlington, England: The British village baffled by flocking Chinese tourists has mention of a "telephone engineer":

"Why the Chinese come here is one of those unfathomables," said Liam King, 73, a telephone engineer who was raking leaves in front of his house on Benmead Road.

Is a telephone engineer an actual engineer who specialises in phones, or is it an inflated job title like "sanitation engineer" and "domestic engineer"?

Onelook didn't have any matches for the phrase.

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    Probably a more colloquial form for "telecommunication engineer": study.com/articles/… – user66974 Dec 7 '16 at 12:40
  • Not a term that would be used in the US, but it's not unreasonable to believe it could be used in the sense of "telecommunications engineer" in the UK. – Hot Licks Dec 7 '16 at 13:05
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It is an electrical engineer or electronics engineer who specialises in telephone/telecommunication systems.

While it may refer to someone who visits offices to clean telephones (a telephone sanitiser), in which case it is "one of those inflated titles", it is almost certainly someone with experience either in cabling, electronics at the exchange, the design of the telephone instrument itself, or similar disciplines.

[Both my parents started out as electrical/electronic engineers specialising in telephone systems.]

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  • 'While it may refer to someone who visits offices to clean telephones (a telephone sanitiser)' For what it's worth, I've only encountered telephone sanitisers in the pages of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Any office I worked in expected us to clean our own phones if we thought they were getting manky. – Spagirl Dec 7 '16 at 16:36
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    @Spagirl I worked in an office where one visited each Thursday afternoon. That was in 1986, though. – Andrew Leach Dec 7 '16 at 16:38
  • Maybe you weren't working in Local Government! – Spagirl Dec 7 '16 at 16:44

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