Language matters

There’s been some interesting discussion this week on my Twitter feed about use of language and ways to improve it. It’s not just about being inclusive but sometimes just to communicate better.

And it all started with this one…

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WordCamp talks: How to use slides

An existing WordCamp speaker and with 30 years of general IT support experience, I’ve spent more times than I wish to remember standing in front of people giving presentations. I’ve also been professionally trained on giving them and, in my spare, time perform on stage, often in front of 200+ people a night.

Even so, speaking at WordCamps can be a daunting, even terrifying, experience, no matter how many you’ve already done. So, in a series of posts, I want to share my knowledge, along with what I’ve learnt from some of my fellow speakers.

And, today, I want to talk about the use of slides.

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Talking Support: The inclusive language that we often forget

With nearly 30 years of experience working within support, I want to share a number of simple discoveries that I’ve made about how it can be improved.

Today, I want to talk about our use of inclusive language.

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Talking Support: Let us get on with fixing it, dangit

With nearly 30 years of experience working within support, I want to share a number of simple discoveries that I’ve made about how it can be improved.


So, let’s talk about how you can ensure that issues are resolved as swiftly as possible, without unnecessary interruption.

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What is wrong with vegetarian and vegan food that looks like meat?

Recently, there was an outcry (well, from from some quarters) when Greggs introduced a vegan sausage roll. On all accounts it was a success with them regularly selling out and review saying that it was like the meat-based version.

But a lot of people were unhappy. You see, some people believe that vegetarians and vegans should not consume anything that is “pretending” to be meat.

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Are wish lists the true spirit of Christmas for the future?

[It is estimated] that $35 billion is being thrown away, around the world, in the form of poorly chosen Christmas gifts

BBC’s 50 Things That Made The Modern Economy – Santa Claus, December 17th 2018

For a number of years now, I’ve asked people, buying me birthday and Christmas gifts, to use my Amazon wish list and, indeed, I’ve converted a lot of them to doing the same (and you can put items on from other online retailers too – they don’t have to be Amazon purchases).

But isn’t that pretty boring as there’s no surprise? Well, in the modern, throw-away economy, struggling with our own consumerism and waste, maybe it’s not such a bad idea after all because it seems, well, we’re not very good at buying presents otherwise.

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