Words matter

Did you know this? Edna Parker (born April 20, 1893) is an American supercentenarian and the oldest recognized person in the world following the death of Yone Minagawa of Japan on August 13, 2007.

What caught my attention was that elsewhere she was referred to as "the oldest living person." Is there any other kind?

Reminds me of the number of times I've said "in the Year 2000" yet I never say "in the year 2001." Do you?

Words matter! Yet jargon and phrases get memorized and repeated and institutionalized. Perhaps I notice jargon slips like these more than others; I hear jargon from other industries every week in training classes. I know the jargon of enterprise software and consumer electronics but not necessarily the jargon of banking, medicine, or semiconductor. So when I hear phrases that are odd to my ear, I notice.

It's okay to speak in jargon--if the listener knows the jargon. But words matter. Let's not waste them on gobbledygook.

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.


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