What Words Are Defining You?

2010 is going to be a marketing hay day for word choice for effective communication.  I read an article “Dirty Words” this week from CLO February 2010 issue by Jay Cross about what words not to say to executives.  This article really stimulated my thinking – dirty words.  Who is truly defining “dirty words”?  Of course in the corporate world, dirty words are anything that could resemble the standard four letter words.  However, it has amazed me how the lingo has changed even since my days in college, which has not been that long ago!!  Dirty words have now expanded beyond the four letter vocabulary…

Really, who truly defines the lingo that we use today?  Do we become board with the present word choice and decide that a fresh new vocabulary to describe the same thing brings more meaning to life?  For example, we no longer use learning in the work environment, but use the term “work smarter”.  Wow, what a concept!!  A process that we have been performing for years, decades, centuries and we officially have a name that adequately describes it!  Just as I read this article last night, the Wall Street Journal announces today some hotels in the lodging industry are dropping the description “resort” from the name to attract more business clientele.

Other word choices that have changed is that we don’t have problems we have exciting challenges.  Even that is being changed to “learning opportunities”.  Yes, even I tend to cringe on that one.  For 2010, what words will you change to describe yourself, your job, your next role that you are seeking?  Does it mean that we are just now grasping the English language here in the 21st Century?  Have we tried to manipulate the English language and realized that things are better stated with true words with true definitions?  Or, have we become so intellectualized that we are “re-creating” the English language?

I really like the language selection used for President Obama’s 2010 State of the Union Address.  Straightforward, clear precise wording that easily defined our present economic state with viable solutions to encourage growth again.  (Of course, implementing those solutions, that’s a different conversation for a later time).  The wording that is being selected to describe your business and yourself, is it really true to the services given or provided?  Are we afraid to use the true words to describe job roles or job titles?  Is it too late to change your vocabulary to redefine you?  I’ll be curious to see when the next wave of new vocabulary definitions will circulate in our lives after this “Great Recession”….


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