communicationblog
pronunciation
rhetoric (rĕt’ər-ĭk) n. the art or study of using language effectively and persuasively.

I love words – reading, writing, speaking, listening and, most importantly, meaning and understanding. Words can edify and connect us, but if we’re not mindful when we use them, words can be a divisive weapon that separates us. Below is a compilation of thoughts, pet peeves, cool vocabulary words, suggestions and observations about how we communicate with each other in our personal and professional relationships.

step outside your comfort zone. - Some of you know I serve as a career coach. Just last week I found myself in a Panera Bread working with one of my current students on their resume. This particular location is extremely thin on power outlets, so while working on battery power, we pretty much stalked every person at every table near…
Bill Nye. Regular Guy. - Confession. Every time I read or hear something Bill Nye says, I have an instant flashback to this 1990s video of him wearing jogging shorts and a cape, hands on hips, valiantly announcing: “This looks like a job for SPEED WALKER!!!” (You’ll have to click over to youtube to watch. Embedding is disabled.) And then…
the 1% rule. a minority with too much free time? or representative of the 99%? - Something has bothered me for a while. When someone says that a certain group of people “thinks” this or “says” that, where does the opinion of that group come from? If it’s true that only 1% of people are “vocal” on the internet, (via posts, tweets, comments or blogs) does that really tell us what…
the most divisive word of all: “THEY” - After the events of the last few days, my resilience is worn-down. I can’t read another post or comment by an armchair pundit containing divisive broadcasted attacks against the nameless, faceless “THEY.” Arrogant sarcastic rants that begin with: “I love it when…” or “Don’t you just love it when…” or “Isn’t it funny, how…” when…
a lesson in humility. and a reminder. - Dr. Doofenshmirtz might call the first part of this post my “backstory.” ~ I’m a firstborn and an ISTP (67%) / ISTJ (33%) who’s worked with IT personnel (mostly guys) for decades. My instinctive approach is always content over context. Logic over feelings. I’d say that about 90% of the time, I have a male…
say what you mean. don’t be mean when you say it. - I cut waaay back on facebook over the last few months. Derisive sarcasm and hate were saturating my news feed, weighing and wearing me down. As I tentatively become more active again, one of my new facebook practices is to select “I don’t want to see this” whenever I read a post declaring that something…
negativity. flip it or zip it. - Note to Self: Every time you began to say something negative, stop. and consider two other options: flip it or zip it. ‪#‎edify‬ Complaining and constructive criticism are two different things. and one of them is a counter-productive waste of time.
Be salt and light. Matthew 5:13-16 seasoned with salt. - If you profess Christianity, please be careful in your discussions about controversial issues today. Please don’t be arrogant. You’re never going to change someone’s mind when you’re words are laced with arrogance or contempt. What’s your goal? You don’t have to try and get someone to agree with your point, but you can introduce doubt…
say what you mean, but don’t be mean when you say it. - I’ve been saying that for years. To my kids, to students and to myself, whenever the situation calls for it. It’s one of my idioms. This afternoon, I read an article about a controversial subject in which the writer gave the distinct impression that anyone who doesn’t agree with them is ignorant. Not ignorant in…
sarcasm: religious and political poison. - Reading too much on the internet today and keep thinking one thing: Sarcasm is an ineffective persuasive technique. It’s condescending, arrogant, divisive and shuts down dialog. It’s too often used by people in a manner to indicate that an issue is simple and anyone who doesn’t see the simplicity and logic of their side of…
the positive impact of negative feedback. - I’ve known for a very long time that I’m different. Not “better” different. Because, really, “better” is relative. Better than what? The comparisons are limitless. and I’m thinking at least 50% of them wouldn’t be pretty. “Different” can imply too much trouble. too much work. weird. tiresome. exasperating. I don’t deny those adjectives. They’re not…
“Christ-centered Church.” I do not think it means what you think it means. - This is the 9th post of a series. CLICK HERE to view a page listing all the posts in the series. oh, go ahead. click the youtube video. It’s 7 seconds. Lemme ‘splain. No, there is too much. Lemme sum up. When I talk about “preaching Christ” I am NOT talking about preaching “everybody is…
Jesus said turn the other cheek. He didn’t say I had to stand within smack radius. - “so, have you spoken to them about their behavior?” That was the question I was asked after publishing my post entitled “you see the big hat too . . . right?” (For those who don’t have time to read that post, here’s the twitter version: “passive-aggressive narcissist. boundaries, distance & prayer. attempted normal relationship. failed.…
you see the big hat too . . . right? - Ever try to describe the behavior of a passive-aggressive person to someone else? Inevitably, you come off sounding petty. And a little crazy. There’s disbelief: “No way. That doesn’t seem like them.” There’s doubt: “Are you sure? Maybe you misunderstood.” There’s advice: “You should talk to them about it. They probably have no idea you…
don’t eat the marshmallow. yet. - Writing about “Don’t Eat The Marshmallow” today. LOVE these kids. (the premise is that children who are capable of delayed gratification are more “successful” than children who can’t delay gratification. The test? Give a kid a marshmallow and tell them they can eat it – BUT if they can wait 10-15 minutes, they can have…
if you can’t change your circumstances, change your expectations. - “If you could tell people just ONE THING. What would it be?” After a purely faith-based post, the next thought that came to mind was this: “If you can’t change your circumstance, change your expectations.” Don’t get me wrong, when presented with a problem, I’ve been called “tenacious” in my efforts to find a solution.…
communication and communion - Not many who visit Compendium realize I have other blogs – probably because I don’t post on them as often. If you’re interested, I’ve got two new posts up this week. One at Pragmatic Communication entitled “therefore I quote: Steve Chander” about knowledge and imagination and one at Pragmatic Communion, entitled “I’d like to think…
this is why . . . - I don’t know who is lost. Or who survived. I don’t know the name of the biggest loser. I can’t tell you the name of one “real” housewife, whether they are from Hotlanta or PoDunk, Alabama. (Is there really a PoDunk, Alabama?) I have no idea why Kim Kardashian is famous. I don’t know who…
ch ch ch changes. - I’ve decided to make some changes here at Pragmatic Compendium. I’m going to make it more of a compendium. Here are the changes: 1. I’m going to be republishing existing content from my other blogs into Compendium, so that this will be a one stop shop for all my posts. I’m doing this for a…
cool word: bifurcate. - So, I’m reading Women, Faith, And Work How Ten Successful Professionals Blend Belief. Specifically, I’m reading the chapter on Goldie Rotenberg: Real-Estate Attorney. The author, in describing Goldie’s life as a Hebrew Christian, mentions her involvement with “a mission devoted to evangelism among Jewish people” and how it “has helped maintain her sanity in her…
reading from the outside in - It’s a little chaotic this week, so I’m “re-purposing” a previous post for my “Works for Me Wednesday” contribution. A while back I wrote about what I learned when “auditing” my son’s summer speed reading course. It was $300, so by “waiting for him” in the back of the classroom, I felt like it was…
an sill air ee - Why have I never used this word? ancillary The definition at http://dict.die.net adj reads: “relating to something that is added but is not essential” Encarta even has a button to click if you need to hear the proper pronunciation. (sounds like “an sill air ee” with the emphasis on the “an”) The encarta.msm.com definitions are:…
voice mail is a tool. - Last quarter I posted (ranted) about my biggest cell phone pet peeve. I have another one. Why do people have to answer the phone EVERY time it rings? Is it not your phone? Your life? Do you not have voice mail? Why? Why? Why? I have a cell phone. It’s not like I don’t get…
We can hear you. - Why? Why do people talk so loudly on cell phones? Why do they think that it’s okay to talk on a cell phone anywhere? There is a place and a time. My biggest cell phone pet peeve? People who talk on their cell phone at a restaurant table. My husband and I disagree on this…
read from the outside in. - I used to read all books chronologically. Start on page one and move forward from there. It worked. It was . . . fine. But last summer, I enrolled my son in a $300 speed reading course and the instructor was kind enough to let me sit in the back of the room and “wait”…
intention is irrelevant - I wanted to reach through the television, take her hand, look her in the eye and sincerely apologize for this unfair truth. She didn’t want to have to “choose her words” or be judged by them. She wanted her intentions to be recognized. She wanted her heart to be seen. She felt victimized by those…
“Irregardless” is too a real word. The spell checker didn’t pick it up! - Regardless, Irregardless, Regardless, Irregardless, Regardless, Irregardless Is it a real word or isn’t it? Well . . . I don’t use it. You decide for yourself. “Irregardless” appears the heaviest and oldest dictionary I own, a 1967 Random House Dictionary of the English Language, The Unabridged Edition: “Usage. IRREGARDLESS is considered nonstandard because it is…
a little about yourself - “Tell me a little about yourself.” It’s a standard interview request. An open invitation to dominate the conversation for at least one minute – give or take 15 seconds. You’ve got a potential employer’s undivided attention. A chance to call attention to the greatness that is YOU. Do yourself a favor. Take the time to…
could of have - Not again. I’ve seen something. Again. It was in a paper turned in by a college student. “You could of . . .” Translated, that would be “You could have . . .” How does this happen? It’s actually common. Very common. I see it multiple times each a semester. Points are lost. So what…
Its It’s confusing! - When you provide computer training to attorneys people, you can't help but see things. I recently saw something and am compelled to provide the following information. I'm not saying an attorney could be grammatically challenged – I'm just providing the information – just as a reminder: It's is a contraction for it is or it…
Why bother? - “Subscribers to the Harvard Business Review rated “the ability to communicate” the most important factor in making an executive “promotable,” more important than ambition, education and capacity for hard work.” “What Helps or Harms Promotability?” Harvard Business Review 42 (January-February 1964), p 14 1964? 1964? That was nearly 40 years ago. Now it’s all about…

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