I have been thinking a lot about communication these past few weeks. How we communicate, what we communicate, and how different words can mean different things to different people. How words can be so achingly beautiful and welcoming and yet at other times be used as weapons to deliberately hurt people. These blog ideas started to get unwieldy, so I am going to break them up into separate blogs.
Communication Part 1:
It all started a couple of weeks ago when I met Jem, a super smart twenty-something with long blonde hair and old soul blue eyes. Jem oozes a quiet self-confidence as she glides around a room. She isn’t one of those women that instantly commands attention, that’s not her style. But Jem subtly owns it as soon as she quietly takes it all in. She's a Buddhist and a student pastor for believers and non believers alike. She is one of those people you just want in your circle. Someone you would ride or die for.
Her vernacular is scattered with colorful colloquialisms.... did I mention she's super smart and never throws shade?
Yeah, I had to look that one up too. The Urban Dictionary now sits right next to Webster's on my desktop, in app form of course. I am learning a new language that I'm tentatively navigating. It incorporates more slang and less use of $5 words. It's a bit campy, usually lit, and terribly entertaining when it's properly used and easily rolled off the tongue.
I'm learning a lot. While those in the over-40 crowd have a tendency to be verbose, Gen-Xers, millennials and the younger-not-yet-named generation do not. They speak in short, catchy phrases that twist traditional meanings into hipper, initially unintelligible quips that soon become mainstream once it hits the masses. Welcome to the new normal. Voila, a new form of communicating.
Isn’t that the way it historically goes? Each generation cyclically turns a phrase to make it theirs, to subtly set them apart from their parents and grandparents. When we do this, we unintentionally (or intentionally) cause a breach, and this breach makes it really hard to successfully communicate in our melting pot of a country.
We should strive for a common language for all of us to use. Embrace our differences, use them to our advantage and make a new hipster language for everyone to understand. Kind and compassionate can be the underlying base. Squad Goals.
In a perfect world, yes. But we are not perfect. Check out what’s happening in our country right now.…That is a perfect seque into part 2….
ps Thank you Jem, for being an inspiration. You truly are a gem, no matter how you spell it. xoxo
to talk trash about a friend or aquaintance, to publicly denounce or disrespect. When throwing shade it's immediately obvious to on-lookers that the thrower, and not the throwee, is the bitcy, uncool one
Camp (n.) and Campy (adj.): Being so extreme that it has an amusing and sometimes perversely sophisticated appeal. Over the top and farcical, intentionally exaggerated so as not to be taken seriously.