Terms of the Trade: Oh, How They’ve Changed…
You’ve heard me make references in the past to how a healthy “generational divide” in the workplace can help to bring out the most creative and productive work atmospheres, by blending “seasoned,” experienced hands with dynamic young talents.
Still, as the resident office “gray-hair” — affectionately dubbed “Papa Steve” by my younger, so often more tech-savvy and smarter (if not “wiser”) colleagues — sometimes it gets tedious to keep having to impart those all-important life lessons about what some of today’s common workplace words and phrases really mean!
After a conversation recently when one of those “younger, smarter, more tech-savvy” colleagues actually said to me: “How did you send press releases out before email or Twitter?” I had to just gasp… and sigh. And I decided it would just be easier to start the first edition of the “What These Terms of the Trade Should Really Mean” glossary.
So here goes, seven for starters:
1. Photoshop – No, not the whiz-bang Adobe software program that every 8-year-old has already mastered. It’s that big, scary darkroom with all the semi-toxic chemicals, in which photographers — true industrial artists — actually “developed” their photographs and magically brought them to life with special effects, ranging from knockouts to double exposures.
2. Cut-and-paste – No, not the painfully simple editing technique so commonly used in Word and other programs. It’s that tedious process of getting out your X-Acto knife (replacing the stupid little blade, if needed), slicing your pre-waxed “galley” of type (and hopefully not your finger), and “pasting” said type into its proper column, as carefully aligned with your T-square tool and your Pica ruler (Google them, for God’s sake, kids… this is exhausting!).
3. Tweet – No, not how you share what tasty-looking lunch plate you’re eating or how you wax poetic in a mere 140 characters. That sweet sound of the songbirds nesting outside your window on a pleasant, spring morning.
4. Vine – No, not that sometimes annoying 6-second repeating video clip sent around the world in less than 2 seconds. It’s a long-stemmed plant (think Jack and the Beanstalk)… or sometimes that “thing” you may think you are “dying on” at the end of a long and frustrating day.
5. The Cloud – No, not a mysterious, Internet-based off-site hosting location for all of your most precious data and record-keeping, along with every electronic conversation or interaction you have with a friend, business colleague, or online vendor. That dark — and sometimes bright white — thing in the sky that can either be ominous or beautiful, but either way can be an impediment to a ray of sunshine.
6. The Web – No, not the “Net.” Charlotte’s. Not explaining that one — please tell me you were still required to read it in second grade?
7. Social Media – No, not Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest… not even sitting around and cracking up for the 100th time to that same YouTube video of the baby laughing hysterically in his car seat. It was when we “media types” got together for real conversations and a few happy-hour brewskies after the work day – “off-the-record!” Let me translate that for my younger friends. Not for attribution. Nor for texting, tweeting, blogging or posting.