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Humor at Work: Speaking Human at Work

Humor at Work, February 2, 2011 Issue 376 ===============================================================

What’s in an ish?

What does the language you use at work say about you, your brand,

and your business? Are you speaking human or some alien language

that sounds part human, part android, part soulless corporate


Here’s an insanely simple example I came across recently while

Traveling in New Zealand, a simple store sign that read:

Summer Hours 11:00 am(ish) to 5:00 pm(ish)

Consider what message and image the addition of those two little

“ish’s” might convey to customers: We’re fun! We’re flexible!

We have real human beings who work here! We’re a little different!

Now maybe I’m reading a bit too much into this sign, but first

impressions matter, and the choice of words we use matters.

A lot. Noticing the “ish” on the hours sign made me smile and

made me want to go into the shop. So look for simple opportunities

to breathe a little more life, energy and humanity into all of

your workplace language.


Mike’s Fun at Work Tip

The consulting firm Silver Lining Ltd. holds a Corporate Lingo

Day once a month where everyone on staff talks in exaggerated

buzzword, business-jargon style language. What a great way

to keep everyone laughing AND remind everyone of the need to

keep workplace language simple, real and human.


Quote of the Week

“To err is human, to arr is pirate!”


It’s a Wacky World

A Japanese company has combined video games and peeing, two things

we don’t normally link together, to create a new, more fun

washroom experience in some selected Tokyo urinals. Yes, as

reported in the Globe and Mail newspaper, you can practice your

aim and even clean off a screen of graffiti!

So was this a serious issue before?  Were men falling asleep at the urinals or something?

Are we that afraid to just be alone with our thoughts for a few moments that it has come to this?

I mean, I’m all  about the fun, so maybe I shouldn’t knock it until I try it, but it

does make you wonder how people come up with these ideas.


Copyright Michael Kerr, 2011

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