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Word Nerd Wednedsay: Retronym

On last week’s Word Matters podast I learned “retronym.” A retronym is a word or phrase we make up to distinguish the old version of something from a newer version or form.People didn’t say “rotary phone” until there was something other than rotary to choose from (i.e., touch-tone). We didn’t start saying “landline phone” until … Read more

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Word Nerd Wednesday: Declined

Data is supposed to spur people to action, but it rarely does. Why not? It’s because numbers, on their own, are boring, and the words people use to describe numbers tend to be boring, too. Boring numbers + boring words = tuned-out audience. Thankfully, there is this thing called a thesaurus.* In between overly flowery synonyms … Read more

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Word Nerd Wednesday: Detox

Today I heard a CX leader refer to their culture change initiative as a “detox.” It’s the perfect word. Culture = a set of shared beliefs that drive behavior patterns in an organization. Toxins = things that poison or harm a system they infiltrate. Few things are more harmful to an organization than misguided beliefs … Read more

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Word Nerd Wednesday: Technology

Today’s post was sparked by the ah-ha I had yesterday about still being a techie because the brain – where #customerexperience happens – is the ultimate legacy #technology. That got me thinking…I’d never looked up the definition of “technology.” Doing so led me down a fascinating rabbit hole! The debate about what constitutes technology and … Read more

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Word Nerd Wednesday: Ennui

An article in the NY Times last week titled We’ve All Hit A Wall got me thinking about the French word “ennui.” It’s used in English to describe a type of weary, restless boredom that many people seem to feel right now, including me. I wanted to share the idea of “ennui” with you because … Read more

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Word Nerd Wednesday: Or

Customers or employees? Digital or physical? Profit or loyalty? Questions like these are provocative, but they do more harm than good. How? By implying the two things on either side of “or” are mutually exclusive (i.e. a false dichotomy). Humans crave simple, clear-cut answers because, when they exist, we don’t have to think as hard … Read more

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Word Nerd Wednesday: Virtual

In a recent webinar about the future of events, William Sell said something powerful that seemed perfect for Word Nerd Wednesday. While talking about the difference between virtual and in-person events, he noted that the word “virtual” is most often used to describe things that are aren’t real. Virtual reality is a simulation, as is … Read more

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Word Nerd Wednesday: Lucky

Have you ever wondered where the expression “The Luck of the Irish” originated? As an Irish American, I certainly have! Multiple sources I consulted say this is an American-born phrase that emerged during the gold and silver rushes of the late 1800s. Apparently many of the successful miners in that era happened to be of … Read more

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