Tag Archives: communication

Watch Your Slanguage … You Follow Me?

Recently one participant on a conference call kept asking “You follow me, Brandie?”  Perhaps it was his Brooklyn-esque speech patterns, but what I was hearing was

Hey idiot, do I need to dumb this down for you?

That was cleared up a few days later, when during a one-on-one call I asked him “Do I present myself in a manner that leads you believe it’s necessary to speak to me like I’m four years old?” (ok, perhaps I didn’t say it in such an eloquent manner)  To which he replied “What the *f bomb* are you talkin’ about?” (I *heart* New Yorkers – no ambiguity)

I explained my perspective, and he replied, “It’s the equivalent of you Cali types following a thought wth ‘ya know’.” (“Cali?”  Totally not cool.)

Ah Ha!

… our regional slang is colorful and meaningful – to us – but it could be insulting to an out-of-towner.

Fast-forward to this post.  As my encounter illustrates, our regional slang is colorful and meaningful – to us – but it could be insulting to an out-of-towner.  What’s more, it’s fluid – evolving as new terms and phrases are created and edited from the mash up of regions and work functional areas & industries, thus increasing the chances of an unintentional insult.

The takeaway

Make certain you know where your clients are from, and don’t ever assume they “get” your industry jargon or regional slang.

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