Here is a short communication tip that may help you in your daily interactions. How often have you “resent” an E-Mail? How often have you told a person that you will “send an invite”?
You may be wondering why I am bringing this up in a post usually reserved for cybersecurity. Am I just being overly pedantic? Am I just a rigid grammarian? One could easily assert that (and my friends do so all the time, so feel free to jump on that bandwagon). However, there is more to it than that.
While we tend to use the word “resent” to indicate sending a message again, as yet, there is no recognized usage in the English language. The same is true for the word “invite”. It is not yet recognized in the way we are using it.
I have written previous posts about our ability to interact more effectively with those who seek our knowledge, as well as building better credibility for what we do as InfoSec professionals, so this flows along the same lines.
Resent means to express ill-will or annoyance, so when you tell a person that you “resent an Email”, they may wonder what they did wrong to generate such ire. Similarly, when you tell a person that you will “send an invite”, you are actually issuing two commands. Quite confusing!
I often wonder what we all do with the time we save by not saying taking the time to type that we will send the message again, or by saving the extra two syllables in the word “invitation”.
Of course I am bringing all of this up in a humorous way, since language is an always-evolving body of knowledge with broad influences. However, there is a social aspect to this. As you may already be aware, when communicating in person, subtle mirroring of various behaviors is very important to a successful interaction. The same can be true of the language we use. If the person with whom you are communicating uses the colloquialisms (such as resent and invite rather than send again and invitation), then perhaps we should flow along with that, regardless of our personal preferences. Of course, always be genuine and authentic when doing so, or you could be incorrectly perceived as condescending.
One of the keys to effective communication is to meet the other person “where they are”. Since we work with folks at all levels of the corporate and social spectrum, it is important for us to take the time to recognize and correctly echo the sentiment, as well as the tone of the communication to achieve a better dialogue with those we serve.
Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go send an invite.