Archive for the ‘Words and communications’ Category

In recent weeks, a big question has been banging around in my mind about the word “invasion”. President Trump has used that word to describe the caravan of Central American refugees who are marching towards the U.S. Regardless of what my or your opinion is on whether they should be let into our country, I just can’t accept them as an invasion force.

The dictionary defines invade (invasion is the act of) as: “to attack; to enter with hostile intentions; to encroach upon (to invade the rights or possessions of another).

Can one really say that a group of individuals, mainly consisting of women and children and men whose intentions is flight from countries that threaten their lives or just to attain a better living standard, are “invaders”? When we think of invaders don’t we usually think of Attilla the Hun, and Genghis Khan and their hordes? Don’t we see Hitler with his army and armaments taking over a European country?

In those 3 examples I gave, the common denominators are hostility, aggression, and use of force through armaments (arrows, guns, bombs). Not to mention, containing sizable numbers of trained solders to execute those hostilities. These poor people approaching us have no weapons (except maybe a pocket knife or two), they don’t want to “take us over” and that would be ludicrous anyway since they are 5,000, more or less, against a population in the U.S. of millions. Furthermore, they would gladly be “captured” if it meant asylum. They love the US, otherwise why would they be making this thousands of miles trek to come to us.

OK, it is true that there are always bad apples among every group. But so far no guns, no killing, nothing except some rock throwing has surfaced. And unless they had the biblical David’s skill with a slingshot, they are incapable of doing much physical harm. Yes, their illegal attempt to enter our country would be a violation of our laws. But do we have to demonize them? Do we have to have a campaign of fear and hate placed on them? After all the horrific shootings in the last 2 weeks, do we need yet more hate to be planted in our hearts? I just pray that when they eventually do arrive at our boarders, I will not awake to the sound of gunshots on the morning news.

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Malpractice: Professional impropriety or negligence. Usually we hear this word in connection with medical lawsuits and other legal issues. However, I recently came across a very interesting use of it in relation to President Trump. Some politician, whose name I failed to catch as the news station flashed the Tweet across the screen, used it in conjunction with Trump’s attempt to override the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment with an executive order. The Tweet said that he would be practicing “political malpractice”!

 

Regardless where one stands on the issue of whether or not a person born in the US to parents who are aliens should be given citizenship rights, the problem here is the fact that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Yes, its amendments have been open to interpretation (i.e. the right to bear arms issue), however, we have a system of checks and balances in our legal system and there is a formal process of how to go about changing or adding an amendment. An executive order cannot do that. Trump should know this as he swore to uphold the Constitution when he was sworn in as president! The Constitution will always, pun intended, trump a Trump!

Did you know that you can send yourself an e-mail that is more than a reminder? It can be a few words of advice delivered on a future birthday, a reminder of life goals, an excerpt of your favorite of-the-moment book, words of wisdom, or simply “I made it!” Using, http://www.futureme.org, it can be delivered tomorrow, 50 years from now or any day of your choice in between.

This past Sunday two great people passed from our midst. But life has a way of going on. Senator John McCain, a great statesman and defender of what was right, will continue on through the legacy of all the causes he fought for so valiantly. Neil Simon, playwright supreme, will continue to have his plays performed on stages both big and small for audiences to enjoy. And even though we lost Aretha Franklin, her music will be with us forever.

To quote another individual who is no longer with us, Anthony Bourdain the wonderful storyteller and world explorer, he once said “Good is good forever.” How right he was…

The Sentinel

Like an oak from an acorn it grew

Higher and higher until it towers over its sisters.

A giant among the giants

That stand guarding this sacred ground.

 

It speaks silent words in the night

That only those who have lost deeply can hear.

Words that fall on ears

Like water drops tumbling into a bottomless pool.

 

The sun glints off its skin

At night, lights capture its ethereal presence.

Standing tall through all watches,

A modern Greek Colossus tasked with protecting lost souls.

 

From whence did you come

You rascacielo – scraper of the sky?

From memories of the twins,

Their legacy of which you are tasked to carry on.

 

Watch over us, mighty one,

Sentinel of all that is holy and hallowed below.

Let your strength be our strength

As we walk beneath you through the coming years.

 

You are WTC 1, half of what once was.

You embody our dreams, hopes and fears for a future not yet formed.

You stand as a testament that we will never forget.

You are the Freedom Tower, 1776 feet of steel and glistening glass.

09/18/12 – Leona M Seufert

Meetings: Weapons of mass distraction

Cell phones in church: Occasions of Mass distraction

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.