Use Your Words

We’re in a hard-to-explain field. One of the recurring lines that you’ll hear at gatherings of community engagement people is the sheer joy of hanging around people who don’t need an explanation of what we do for a living. But how we define ourselves and the vocabulary of democracy, civic engagement and community was considered awhile back by Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE), a network of people and organizations that believe American democracy will thrive when all of its people are informed and engaged in the process of creating it. The words we use aren’t as important as what those words actually mean to the people who hear them. I think you’ll find the following interesting. Read More …

Several years ago, a private jet crashed, killing all on board, while attempting a winter nighttime landing at an airport where the FAA had recently banned nighttime winter landings. The final accident report stated that the pilot had been apparently ‘confused by the language’ of the FAA’s directive. Do we really have to say again that words are important? Mark Twain once said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” The right words can save careers … and lives. Read More …