Right Words

The Ahmedabad University holds a regular event “Nalanda” where experts from outside the university engage students and faculty members in conversation. I have attended only one of them so far, the one with Mr. Anil Gupta. I have always admired him because he actually walks the talk. He walks in his Shodhyatra to the remote parts of India in harsh climates, looking for innovations and traditional knowledge in rural India.

His insight that the use of right words changes how one lives one’s life is something I couldn’t agree more with. Instead of saying “this table does not move”, say, “I am unable to move this table”. Instead of saying “My staff is not getting engaged in the goals I set”, say “I am unable to engage my staff in the goals I set”. Instead of saying “nobody gives me proper feedback”, say “I am unable to read the writing on the walls”.

What is interesting and amusing to me is that even people who claim to give very high importance to use of correct words, end up mis-reading. I don’t want to insult or cause harm but I am thoroughly amused. Thanks for the drama and entertainment.


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PhD in Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos. Teaching Physics and Mathematics to engineers for more than 11 years. I have a huge interest in teaching and learning and an incurably optimistic attitude to the limit of sounding insane. Unless specified I always interpret words as per average public perception where I take the average over my known universe, the context unfortunately is only limited to my universe, but I hope neuroscience will change it sooner or later.

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