Monthly Archives: August 2017

Slanguage: Not for Use at Work

[Instructors: Download PDFs of this exercise and solution at the end of the post.]

Everyone uses slang, especially when speaking to peers. While slang can create unity and community among peers, it can also alienate those who are not part of the in-group and affect how others view your professionalism.

Below are ten sentences containing popular millennial slang words. Rewrite the sentences to sound more appropriate for the workplace.

Word Definition Used in Sentence
lit amazing Did you see how Dipali made that sale? That was so lit.
trash terrible, worthy of being thrown out That email from HR about the increase in our co-pay was trash.
cancel(led) to reject a person, place, or thing Just because Mateo criticized your report in the meeting, you can’t cancel him.
drag to rake someone through the coals; burn someone I’m going to drag Ellen to the ground after she left me to clean up the office kitchen.
woke being aware You need to stay woke when Michelle sends out those meeting reminders.
savage hard core Did you hear that Su-lin stayed up all night to make that deadline? That’s just savage.
sic cool We made the sales goal! That’s sic!
hardcore intense (can be used as a positive or negative) Mireya is so hardcore she finished that brief in one day. Brendan got laid off. That is hardcore.
live cool/exciting or extreme/intense The intercultural training session was way live.

Miranda was way too live during that meeting.

excluded from this narrative negative response to a request Jean asked me to show the new dude the office, but I’m so busy I want to be excluded from that narrative.

Key to Slanguage: Not for Use at Work

Slanguage Sentence Standard English Sentence
Did you see how Dipali made that sale? That was so lit. Did you see how Dipali made that sale? That was impressive!
That email from HR about the increase in our co-pay was trash. That email from HR about the increase in our co-pay was upsetting.
Just because Mateo criticized your report in the meeting, you can’t cancel him. Just because Mateo criticized your report in the meeting, you can’t ignore him.
I’m going to drag Ellen to the ground after she left me to clean up the office kitchen. After Ellen left me to clean up the office kitchen, I’m going to suggest we put up a sign reminding people to do their own dishes.
You need to stay woke when Michelle sends out those meeting reminders. You should pay attention when Michelle sends out those meeting reminders.
Did you hear that Su-lin stayed up all night to make that deadline? That’s just savage. Did you hear that Su-lin stayed up all night to make that deadline? That’s dedication!
We made the sales goal! That’s sic! We made the sales goal! That’s phenomenal!
Mireya is so hardcore she finished that brief in one day.

Brendan got laid off. That is hardcore.

Mireya is so diligent she finished that brief in one day.

Brendan got laid off. That is awful.

The intercultural training session was way live.

Miranda was way too live during that meeting.

The intercultural training session was really interesting.

Miranda was way too intense during that meeting.

Jean asked me to show the new dude the office, but I’m so busy I want to be excluded from that narrative. Jean asked me to show the new guy the office, but I’m so busy I’d rather skip it.

Slanguage Exercise

Key to Slanguage

Millennials Learn Business Etiquette – at the Plaza Hotel!

Many millennials may be familiar with the classic and elegant Plaza Hotel from reading the beloved children’s book Eloise. However, few are likely aware that the New York City establishment is offering business etiquette lessons to young professionals.

The Plaza Hotel Finishing Program, launched in conjunction with the Beaumont Etiquette School’s Myka Meier, emphasizes the importance of showing respect in business situations. Meier covers a host of topics from proper e-mail rules, when to use emojis, and even modest sitting positions.

Offering either hour-long or five-hour intensive courses, the curriculum tackles such issues as dining manners, social interaction, and networking, all with the objective of countering the relaxed manners that typify the young generation of new business professionals.

Other topics addressed are proper hand shaking (only two pumps for business events), starting conversations (avoid the clichéd, “So what do you do?”), and improving eye contact. However, increasing participants’ charm quotient is the real goal. Meier notes that charm is a required ingredient for success, but that it can be learned.

One of the biggest problems facing millennials, Meier says, is that the increase in technology use has made personal conversations land mines for the unpracticed. To help her students, she encourages networking among classmates at the hotel after class sessions.

Discussion

  1. Myka Meier has stated that etiquette “has become trendy.” Do you agree? If so, to what do you attribute this new interest in manners and civility?
  2. Many claim that millennials are careless and lax in their business behavior. What repercussions might such conduct have in the workplace?
  3. Why is engaging in personal conversations so important for success in the professional world? What can you do now to help prepare yourself to become a more confident conversationalist?

 

 

 

 

Start the Semester Strong

None of us entered our field because we wanted to alienate students. Yet unwittingly, much of our traditional first-day agendas do just that. Reading the syllabus as a contractual obligation, warning about late work and poor attendance, and being the “sage on the stage” can create the opposite of an atmosphere that will excite students about our courses.

So just what will engage our students from the get-go? At Spartanburg Community College, new faculty watch a video called Voices of Our Students that was created by a student intern, reports Dr. Tena Long Golding. The video contains students’ perspectives about their college teachers and reveals that students describing a “great professor” use words such as honest, relatable, engaging, concerned, invested, and enthusiastic.

Students in the video also describe what makes for a “favorite professor.” They list the following desirable traits:

  • are consistent and predictable
  • believe in students’ ability to succeed
  • entertain when lecturing
  • help students having trouble by being available and offering feedback
  • make connections between course content and the “real world”
  • motivate students using a variety of methods
  • open discussions after lectures
  • share personal anecdotes
  • view students as individuals

As we start our new academic year, perhaps we can use these student impressions to help us create more meaningful courses—and maybe even become those “favorite professors.” Below are some ways to start the new semester off on the right foot.

Offer a meaningful promise about what students will learn. Tell students what they will take away from your course. A statement such as “Everything you read and write about in this course will be relevant to your futures as business professionals” will likely grab their attention.

Engage the class with multimedia. Our millennial students are used to being dazzled by images on their screens. Can you create or show a short video? Play a podcast? Project photographs? You’ll wake up even the most uninterested students if you appeal to their need to view learning at least in some part as entertaining.

Demonstrate consequences of poor classroom behavior. Perhaps you can make your own cellphone go off or respond to a text message while you are speaking. While going over the syllabus, you might tell a “sad story about Missing Student” who skipped so many classes and got so hopelessly behind that she [fill in the blank.] Present your pet peeves to students in a creative way.

With a little effort and a few tweaks to the standard way of starting a new course, this may be your best year of teaching yet!


Do you have any first-day activities or strategies to engage your students? St