Why We Love Language (And You Should, Too!)

Flipping the social media trends for that day, I saw a powerful article by Meghan M. Biro, contributor for Forbes, interviewing the CEO of PepsiCo, Indra K. Nooyi titled “Create A Vocabulary That Inspires Employee Engagement“. In this piece, they mused about jargon and specifically, as Ms. Nooyi spoke, “words that are simple, direct and unambiguous.”

As I thought about my communications, my mind race about two separate points:

The Power of Language

One random notion was on the power of language. I am sure that you have read books that are classics when you are in school, right? When I was at Hollywood Hills High School (go Spartans!) in South Florida, I read exemplary books like “Ivanhoe” or “Moby Dick” or even “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

Fascinating books that are so well-written and elegant but, at the same time, transcends the capacity of comprehension from time to time. Words that sometimes I have to look up the definition because I have never heard of them before. Phrases that is both compelling, but genteel.

Moreover, do you ever have that word that either you can’t remember the meaning or it’s just the wrong pronunciation? Everyone does; it’s the “tip of the tongue” syndrome, right?

I am cognizant of my “tip of the tongue”, too, but for sometimes different reasons including:

  • My grasp of “words that are simple, direct and unambiguous” is questionable indeed after my stroke
  • My dealing with the realization that my brain short-circuit and now have aphasia forever more

Without a doubt, I took steps and made a constant effort to use the best articulation and explanation possible. Because I needed practice and repetition always, this was a good check to not take the easy chore of using the same words over, and over, and over. I found out over time that the best connections are more meaningful, and to be honest, beautiful as well.

Text Message Begone

The other conundrum was trying my hardest regarding text messaging. Alright, I may be a beginner in fumbling on my smartphone, but, whoa! I have never seen this in my life regarding the butchering of vocabulary. Quirks like:

  • OMG
  • BTW
  • LOL
  • TTYL

It drives me insane! I know it’s a part of the human endeavor; I know that it’s not going to be back in the bottle. Notwithstanding, we should use our brainpower to think of elements that are precise and crisp. The results are so much more flawless. Alas, the English language and all my majesty endured…

Calm Down

Okay, my rant is subsiding. Now, I have to find out the definition of “schizo”…

For you, how do you utilize vocabulary, both in business and personal, in your realm?

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2 Comments

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  1. I understand that completely. Especially with the older population, it is more important to be very crisp and decisive for not only the words, but the actions, too.

  2. Shelia Perkins July 11, 2014 — 3:37 pm

    Working in aging services, we are beset by our own terminology and our own acronyms. Everything has “alphabet soup”, for lack of a better term- ARC, MOW, JTPA, OAA, AAA,, CSBG, SSBG, etc. and so on. To those not in the industry or area, these are indecipherable in their real meaning. As well some of the terminology around aging and services can be similarly confounding. More and more of it is creeping into pieces written for magazines and newspapers, TV and other media. The Boomers and the Silver Tsunami is old hat to those working in Aging Circles, we have been discussing it over 20 years now. Others are catching up quick, though, to these and many more phrases. Ah what to call ourselves now.

    Oh and in translation- Atlanta Regional Commission, Meals on Wheels, Job Training Partnership Act, Older Americans Act, Area Agency on Aging, Community Services Block Grant, Social Services Block Grant- again just the tip of the iceberg.

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