I think in words. For example, until recently I thought a patty melt contained corned beef, so I never wanted to try one. Why did I think this?
Patty melt makes me think of St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patty’s Day = corned beef and cabbage (gross)
Therefore, a patty melt must be made with corned beef
My naïve innocence is precious, isn’t it?
Let’s travel back in time to late summer 1995. On August 31,
the day before my 30th birthday, my assistant sent this email to the
entire administrative staff at the financial services company I worked at in
downtown Dallas, intending to invite them to my surprise birthday celebration:
“We are mourning the loss of Diane’s first 30 years of life. Please join us in her office tomorrow at 2 p.m. to celebrate with cake.”
Within minutes, I received three phone calls and ten emails asking if I was still alive.
Words matter. In this case, they were well-intentioned words, but they created a public relations tornado. Thankfully, in 1995 we were limited to intracompany email, so the damage was quickly contained. Back then, no one above my pay grade was interested in figuring out the new way of communicating that was taking the world by storm, so I typically received only about three emails a day from other staff members.
Well, except for that day, anyway.
A week before Christmas I had lunch with a good friend who told me her word for 2024 is “grateful.” Merriam-Webster’s 2023 word of the year was “authentic,” and last year’s word was “gaslighting.” What’s your word for the new year? Mine is “clarity.”
Wishing you good health, much happiness, and wise word choices . . .
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