I was watching this short video from TED and marveling at the achievement of branding expert Alan Siegel. We need to mean business when it comes to communications. I cannot recall the number of times I read an email intended for an HR or other scanning system, and not a person.
It's disheartening, especially since English is such a flexible language -- let an Italian tell you. And it's offensive to be on the receiving end of such a snooty piece, as if organizing the words in a passive voice and ornate fashion could distance you from the responsibility you still hold over your message.
Perhaps I cannot shake my classical training. I have indeed a degree in Latin and ancient Greek, and my Liberal Arts higher education is in linguistics -- I majored in English. Yeah, I learned it on Shakespeare, the poets, the many great writers that ever lived and shared their thought in this beautiful language. I keep learning and earning the expressions every single day.
Reflecting on how we connect, I can offer:
- strive for simplicity and economy of words with richness of thought
- seek connection without condescension
- look to emulate and not copy, making it yours is what makes it special
This doesn't mean cheapening of thought. Quite the contrary. I didn't start appreciating poetry until I was mature enough to understand how I felt about it. Such simple words, such impact.
I read a lot, much of it online. And feel the subtle nuances of words that seem to say welcome and instead say "go to hell", "I hold the keys". All shrouded under the guise of expertise. Putting things in plain words doesn't mean you dumb it down. It means your intent is to connect.
Related post:Words Matter - Upon Trajan's Column
© 2010 Valeria Maltoni. All rights reserved.