If I want to say that a person is not an engineer can I call him non-engineer? And how about the punctuation, I must use hyphen? And / or capitalize?

I want to use the word somewhere to tell that people who are not engineers can also understand the text

  • 3
    Yes you can call such a person a non-engineer, it's immediately understandable that the term refers to those who are not engineers. Yes the hyphen is necessary - what's a nonengineer ? And you only need to capitalise when you would otherwise capitalise engineer, such as at the beginning of a sentence – High Performance Mark Mar 6 '20 at 10:46
  • Thanks a lot ... – user3600630 Mar 6 '20 at 10:52
  • The title of this question does not match the question itself. – jsw29 Mar 7 '20 at 1:17
  • I know. I had written a different title which matched my question. But someone, who had nothing else to do, made his mission to change it to this title, also by using a fancy word like succint etc.... I am sure he feels happy now.... – user3600630 Mar 8 '20 at 5:29

You can also use the word layman about which Lexico says


2 A person without professional or specialized knowledge in a particular subject.

the book seems well suited to the interested layman

  • Also “muggle”, if you’re feeling particularly informal. 🤣 – Ian MacDonald Mar 6 '20 at 12:13
  • I know the word layman. But that is not suitable for my purpose. I want to specifically say a person who is not an engineer. – user3600630 Mar 7 '20 at 17:43

I'd tend to use non-technical over lay person as I find it clearer.

It does not directly assume a lack of understanding, but prefers an assumption that the person is not a technician or engineer for the application.

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