What grinds my gears – language

Time for another in the occasional series.

Having been in business for a while, there are certain phrases and combinations of words which set my teeth on edge. Here are a few:

Human Capital – what? Do you mean people?

Learners – again, do you mean people?

Elearning – its reputation has become poisoned by the proliferation of click next slide decks. Say it now and that’s what people think about. We need to describe it in a different way.

Innovation – I really think most people don’t know what this means. It doesn’t mean a simple improvement. It doesn’t mean a great idea. It doesn’t mean creative thinking. It’s the identification of a method, product or idea, and the delivery of that with measurable success.

Riff – guitarists riff. People talk, chat, debate and converse.

10 things HR/L&D can learn from the World Cup/Game of Thrones/any other current event. Just stop it. It’s clickbait and doesn’t do anything to help your reputation.

In a news article or a blog post, if the headline has a closed question, the answer is almost always no.

There is no best practice – only accepted practice.

Top 5, 7, 9 lists are rarely top.

Too many TLAs – Three Letter Acronyms.

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