I realize so much of what I say these days, especially at work, is practically bordering on secret language.  Between terminology of my industry (sprint planning, JIRA board, etc) and jargon from gaming in general (How much DPS can you do in your favorite MMO, and what Champ do you want to play in that MOBA?) as well as internal terms and codes (project code names, tools we use, and so on) that when you add in regular slang or analogies (I’m totally in the weeds, but we’re in the trenches together on this one) that I’m not sure a conversation with me makes any sense at all except to a select set of people!

When I speak to people for whom English is not their first language, I become almost hypercritically aware of this, but usually only after a phrase has passed my lips (or fingertips in text) and is ready to cause confusion.  I’m instantly trying to simplify and translate… and am totally relieved when it’s not needed.

This doesn’t even take into account my tendency to quote movies, music, TV, and books without context or reference for anyone.  Sometimes “anyone” can include me, it’ll be a phrase I know is a quote, I just can’t place where it’s from.  It’s because my head is filled with random snags of pop culture… for example I can never think of how well things are going without hearing “Everything’s going so well!” from Moulin Rouge… and then I know that everything may melt down at any second!

Seriously, as funny as that is, it can seriously cause me to start looking over my shoulder for the other shoe to drop!

As someone who has tried to learn a little of a few languages (I can still order a bottle of water in Korean!) I know how hard this can make communication, but for some reason I can never cut back on it until it’s too late.

 

Oh man, now I really want to watch Moulin Rouge again!

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