I hate the English language; I do. I’m sorry, well I’m not really actually. If you study linguistics at all, you will know there are better languages out there. More efficient, less convoluted, and more consistent languages exist. You see, the English language has changed and evolved over hundreds of years, adapting and stealing from other languages. Over time this has made modern English excessively complicated.
Although I have a certain disdain for the English language, it is what I grew up with and am most familiar with. So, when life gives you lemons… I have a particular passion for words. I speak professionally to large and small crowds alike, I have been through public speaking training and education, and I have a Type A personality, with Anal Retentive tenancies (just without the fussy part). When I am communicating I sometimes get ahead of myself and get mixed up (brain moves faster than mouth), other times I am searching my vocabulary for just the right word; and very rarely I actually get it right!
I am very particular about my words. I will search and search for the perfect word, if I cannot find the right word it frustrates me. I have learned through speaking and teaching the significance and benefit of being particular. If I am trying to communicate a particular process to you I need to do so as effectively and efficiently as possible. If you have been to any of our courses, you know I will often exchange terms. For example, Situational Awareness is a common industry term. I prefer to use, Environmental Engagement. Same concept, but I think is communicates what you should be doing a little better. Those two words tighten up the concept and take it up a notch. To learn more about this term, read our article on situational awareness.
When it comes to combat, and communicating in the real world communication goes from important to critical; In a combat situation your life may depend on it. Now, what and why it is important changes a little. For me, speaking and communicating in a class is important so you can learn most effectively. In life, it is important to be clear and concise in order to communicate properly. For example, if a man is “pursuing” a woman in an effort to get a date with her and she does not wish to do so, the woman needs to be clear and concise. Saying things like: “not right now”, “your not my type”, “maybe later” does not end the pursuit, it only causes the man to “up his game” until he gets the girl.
By not being clear and concise the object is never met! A simple NO! gets the job done.Or if you wish to elaborate: “I do not now or ever has any desire to see or speak to you again, leave me alone.” Now that is a clear message! If the pursuit does not end, then we may be looking at a stalker, and that is another topic all together.
We have an incalculable quantity of words in the English language. Often times we are faced with several words that may appear to fill our current need. Typically one word actually works better than most or all of the others but, we settle for “close enough is good enough”. This mindset will spread to other facets of our thought process is we are not careful. We do nothing more than speak, other than blink and breath. If we allow ourselves to become complacent with something we do so much, how much more are we willing to let life safety issues slip? Your words matter, be sure your terms are correct, and your standards high!
What can we learn?
- Our words matter, use the correct ones
- Some terms, especially in the safety and security industry are mediocre. Do not settle for mediocrity.
- Keep your standards high, starting with your vocabulary. If you keep high standards in this, you are more likely to maintain high standards in other areas.