The semantics of pedantics

LONDON – As a follow on to that previous cryptic post, why is it that a certain cross-section within our profession (well, the world, I suppose) is more intent on irrelevant minutiea than on solving the issue or challenge at hand?

The definition of what is ‘relevant’.  Obviously this is important.  A certain kind of mind will want to ensure that the terms of the conversation are established.  Unfortunately this can sometimes result in a longer conversation than would occur on the topic at hand. 

The definition of ‘minutiea’.  The hyphen (or its absence) in anal-retentive takes on massive importance to the wordsmithing craftsman.  It usually shrinks into nigh irrelevance when speaking to anyone above Manager level (apart from wilful nitpicking to achieve an objective, or an intelligent aside).

The definition of ‘the challenge at hand.”  At one level this would be the creation of “stuff” e.g. communication as a noun.  At another level it is about reducing costs, increasing efficiency, making better investment, attraction, acquisition, disposition, change decisions.

The punch line is we are trying to recruit, and I am not interested in any candidate who wants to spend 20 minutes debating the difference between “engagement” and “communication.”  OK, I get it – can we get on with the conversation?

In some cases, one can’t get on with the conversation.  I wonder where these folks end up?


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