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Saturday, March 15, 2003

I just read an article on speaking in techno-babble: [READ]

Part of the problem that technical people face when trying to be understood
may be the education system in the US. Most school
students learn only one language and do not possess the "get your point
across" skills that help people think like the other person.

An interesting anecdote is that during some international space missions,
the etiquette was to use the other person's primary language so that you had
a better understanding of what you were trying to say to them instead of
them trying to catch up with you in your native tongue.

This works well for me as I look for new jobs and consulting projects. Most
headhunters do not understand the job requirements that they are trying to
fill and do not realize that TQM and Six Sigma have so much overlap, or that
the CMM and Software Process Improvement are complementary skills. (I can
send translations if needed).

Another issue is that so many people are lazy, not active listeners. The
listener should ask questions if they do not understand; the speaker should
not hold this against them since they are taking the time to listen. An
English teacher taught me a great lesson: never pass a word that you do not
understand without looking it up, or saving it for later. All the people
who buy a word a day calendar would be better served by reading the Wall St
Journal or NY Times with this rule in mind.


QOTD: "It's a damn poor mind that can think of only one way to spell a
word!" - Andrew Jackson

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