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Saturday, August 25, 2007

It's been a slow Saturday at the office, but with just enough distraction that serious studying hasn't been happening. Which means I've been out surfing.

I just found this from Tim Ferriss from way back on July 27th: 10 Words you should stop using

The words include good, moral, happiness and success. The list includes "should." His argument is that either these words mean something specific to you, in which case you should just say what you're thinking, or they don't, in which case you're wasting oxygen on nonsense.

What amused me was the comments section, where some people became quite defensive about certain words, and about how they had a clear sense what the words meant and it wasn't their fault others used them in a vague or meaningless manner. It made me think of Humpty Dumpty: "When I use a word, it means what I intend it to mean."

One commenter was spot-on in suggesting the addition of "mis-communication" to the list. Mis-communication and its cousin responsible (on the list) are great customer service words whose approximate meanings are, "I'm more interested in company process and covering my butt than in solving your problem."

Check out the list and try to come up with replacements for all ten words. When you can, use the replacements so people will know what you're trying to say. When you can't, you should hold off on telling others what you think till you've made sure you know for yourself.

posted by gbarto at 2:11 PM  


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