Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Is this English language or what?

H-m.. this might be a good time to re-evaluate your profile on LinkedIN and change few words... maybe many words. Maybe, even the whole language style and form?
I will start with the clarifying statement: English language is not my mother tongue. My native tongue is Russian, which can be derived from my very Russian first and family name. But, living few years in Canada and now in the USA took its toll- I now mostly use English language and even caught myself thinking in it.
I never experienced difficulty expressing myself more or less clearly. I want to talk about two "extreme points", where I consistently find myself completely lost. One point is when I sometimes forced to listen to modern-days teenagers, talking to each other in the street, in a store or cafe or on cell phone. Their language seems so simplified and primitive, yet, most of the time I completely fail to understand what they are talking about, what they are discussing. Line of conversation often comes to: " Yeah!... H-mm, like...cool! And I go... totally, like...yo-o, got it, you know! And he goes, like...you know, aha, groovy, dude!"..., and so on and so forth. And this is not the "heavy" stuff, which I cannot even reproduce here.
Another extreme point is when I sometimes find myself in a middle of corporate marketing meeting, read marketing correspondence, article, job opening description or even job seekers resume. Terminology is very different from teenagers' talk, but in essence the result is the same... for me, at least. I get lost in a sea of sharp, pointy, rounded words and phrases. I start suffocate when I hear a long jumbo string:" We are leveraging major core competencies and ensure that your deliverables exceed client expectation in a best-of-breed style! We also implement multiplatform diversity across key geographies!" What have I just said? Do you know? I definitely don't.
On this web site many people write articles, expose their personal and professional profiles. Some just to please their EGO, others in pursuit of certain and not so certain goals. One thing is evident- many of them use the same marketing mumbo-jumbo language clich├ęs, meaning of which they may not always understand themselves. I am not an exception. I also sometimes fall into a pattern of doing things others expect me to do. In our perception we think that this language is expected of us in certain situations. And we deliver being afraid that simple and clear language may be interpreted as weakness.

LinkedIn’s 2011 Top 10 terms most overused words:
1.Creative
2.Organizational
3.Effective
4.Extensive experience
5.Track record
6.Motivated
7.Innovative
8.Problem solving
9.Communication skills
10.Dynamic

LinkedIn’s 2010 Top 10 terms most overused words:
1.Extensive experience
2.Innovative
3.Motivated
4.Results-oriented
5.Dynamic
6.Proven track record
7.Team player
8.Fast-paced
9.Problem solver
10.Entrepreneurial

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