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About Says Simon

Steve Simon is vice president of Van Eperen & Company, a Rockville-based strategic communications and public relations firm. A longtime Montgomery County political observer, he has been in the media and public relations field locally for nearly 30 years. In addition to serving as an independent public relations consultant, he... Read more

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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.

photo of writing tools2. 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.

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Steve Simon

About Steve Simon

Steve Simon is vice president of Van Eperen & Company, a Rockville-based strategic communications and public relations firm. A longtime Montgomery County political observer, he has been in the media and public relations field locally for nearly 30 years. In addition to serving as an independent public relations consultant, he has held previous posts as the public information director for Montgomery County Public Schools, as director of communications for Montgomery College, and as a public information officer for Montgomery County, under three different county executive’s administrations. Earlier in his career, he was managing editor of The Chronicle Express newspapers, a former community newspaper chain in Montgomery County. He is the former host of several Montgomery County cable television shows, including Capital View Annapolis for County Cable Montgomery and Campus Conversations for Montgomery College Television.

Comments

2 Responses to “Terms of the Trade: Oh, How They’ve Changed…”

  1. Sonya Burke
    On March 18, 2014 at 10:59 am responded with... #

    Loved this!

  2. On July 16, 2015 at 10:47 am responded with... #

    It seems like it all changed so fast! I was thinking the other day about when I used to lay out a magazine on my drafting board, using a waxer (or rubber cement!) and an exacto, with big boards, galley strips of type, and knockouts for the photos, which the printer would drop in later, and how we corrected typos by typesetting the new word, laying it over the old word, and cutting it in. I kind of miss it. I used to be a whiz with a ruling pen. Is it nice to be able to drop in photos on my own, and print the page out in its entirety? Well, yes, sure…but I miss the task of checking everything with my T-square and triangle. I miss the smell of the wax. I miss my typesetting machine! (Compugraphic) which could still outdo the Macintosh in so many ways if I had one. But I don’t miss cleaning the processor every week, that’s for sure! Nice memoir–hard to believe it’s changed so much in one 35-year career!




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