Archive for July, 2018

Meetings: Weapons of mass distraction

Cell phones in church: Occasions of Mass distraction

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Quote of the Week

Posted: July 21, 2018 in Quotes
Tags: , ,

“The time you need to do something is when no one else is willing to do it, when people are saying it can’t be done.” – Mary Frances Berry, American history and law professor

“I found out the way everyone seems to find out these days: an electronic slip. Sometimes it’s a text or voice mail message; in my case it was an email, the modern-day lipstick on the collar.” – Rachel, in the novel, The Girl On the Train, by Paula Hawkins

My last post was about a word “intexticated” that not only was a clever take on intoxication but also was understandable in the message it tried to get across to the reader. Not all “created” words, clever though they may seem, clearly communicate their message. Here are excerpts from an article that appeared in Biz Bash, (Alesandra Dubin, Reader’s Forum, 2013 p52) a magazine that writes about the meeting and event industry, where you might chuckle at the speaker’s phrasing but wind up scratching your head as to what he meant.

In the article In Conversation Rohit Talwary the C.E.O. of United Kingdom based Fast Future Research, (where he applies his skills as a futurist to understand and project what’s ahead for the meeting and event industry) was interviewed about upcoming trends. Here are some of his head scratching gems:

“The consumerization of technology is turning us all into technology sophisticates and datasexuals.”  Datasexuals? When did data have the ability to be sexual? Don’t think I want to transgender myself into that!

“We have to stop thinking of our events as one-offs and start to see them as platforms for year-round engagement – the focal point of an ongoing experience.” Hmmm, meetings and events, in most people’s opinion, already take up too much of our time, so now they should be an “ongoing experience?” Yikes, count me out.

“Good business events…also connect industry investors with local innovators and help in attracting inward investment.” Is this like meditation? Or stock trading? He does go on to explain but it takes two long convoluted sentences to clarify this one point.

“Inevitably, those who fail to innovate and create new business models will go to the wall.” He never elaborates on what this “wall” means or what will happen when one goes to it.

“The best [event planners] have an excellent ecosystem of support mechanisms in place to help them stay abreast of developments…” A system, yes, but an “eco”system connotes something entirely different. Usually something green and alive!

As you can see, people who write or talk like this can be very entertaining without even trying. But if you are in a business communication situation, avoiding cleverness is usually the better path to take. To give him credit, he did elaborate on most of his unique statements. However, it is always better when writing a piece with the intent of imparting information to your reader to be concise and to the point, thus not wasting your reader’s time by making them wade through a mountain of confusing words to figure out what you meant.

I always love it when I come across a “new” word that accurately defines something in our culture. Can you guess what “Intexticated” refers to?

It’s the 4th of July “weekend” which this year stretches over two weekends. The current newsletter from the NJ AAA club ran this article entitled Driving While Intexticated”:

“A father is driving with his three children in the back seat. His left hand is firmly on the steering wheel while his right hand is gripping a beer bottle.

Shocking, right? But would you be as shocked if the same man was holding a phone instead?”

The article then goes on to discuss how distracted driving can have devastating consequences. Creating this new word was clever and attention getting and right on point. Using electronic devices while driving can be as fatal as driving while intoxicated.