Thursday, September 13, 2007

Word Nerd-dom and Business Results

I love words. Always did. My mother bought us, first a dictionary, and then a set of encyclopedia when we were very young children. My brothers and I read the entries in those blue and white Grollier International volumes like short stories in an anthology.

My work with clients includes constant clarification of what they say and how it connects (or doesn't connect) to their beliefs, actions and results. Does your language create your business reality? You bet. Is this something New Age, connected with the? Where have you been? Really! It isn't just the good people in the marketing department who agonize over words: It's also the concern of those of use who work in the area of business strategy as well. Our words are like the points on a map towards our desired results. Nebulous strategic mission, vision, objectives, strategies and action plans will get you...well, you get the picture.

In this TED Talk, lexicographer Erin McKean discusses her work in the constant pursuit of new words, new meanings for old words, or signs that once-favored terms have fallen out of use. She worries that dictionary editors are viewed as little more than traffic cops looking to police the "bad words" and put dictionaries on the Internet in the same way that they exist on paper. She longs to participate in the Internet-driven transformation of words and meaning.