Un-Wise Words



2014-04-27 – I’ve seen a lot of ranting lately about workplace jargon. It covers laziness. It covers deception. It oppresses women. You’ve heard it all. And you’ve seen the lists of words we all need to avoid to bring sanity and efficiency to our jobs.

Banishing these words is low-hanging fruit.  Circle back with me when you’ve done that. You will be smarter and more impactful.

Words are important.

There’s another list of word that civil society eschews. (Gesundheit!) We don’t normally thing of these words as jargon. They don’t hide objectionable characters. They proclaim objectionable characters. Folks who use them are . . .

. . . well, folk heroes in some circles.

The words I am talking about are racist and sexist and other-ist words. And just as there is an industry to condemn workplace jargon, there is an industry devoted to defending “un-PC” talk. If you violate the norms of civil speech, you are somehow anti-establishment, brave, and free.

Those who ask for civility are somehow defective (politically correct). (Could you imagine treating workplace jargon as somehow heroic?)

Words are important.

Just as workplace jargon has an effect on the efficiency of the workplace, racist jargon has an effect on the civility of our society.

It’s not a first amendment issue. The first amendment clearly protects objectionable speech from government control. But the first amendment says nothing about self-control. This is not a question of freedom. This is a question of wisdom.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s