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20 Words That Are Now Defined Differently Because You Are Older

20 Words That Are Now Defined Differently Because You Are Older

We have words that are defined differently now that we are older. The fact is that life was simpler when we were younger. Our perspective in life was narrow and the necessities we needed to live were a lot less. We defined things in a minimalistic manner. There was no gray area. As we got older our views on life have expanded.
Every year we add new words to the dictionary. We do so to accommodate our ever changing perception of the world.  We now have events and circumstances that did not exist just five years ago. But they are here now and therefore worthy of being named. A news release that announces newly added words is great but what about words that now have a different meaning? Where is the announcement to make sure we are up to date with the meaning of a specific word? This would definitely help the 35 and older demographic.
Here is a sampling or words that has changed as father-time passes us by.

1. Automobile

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    The automobile has been a right of passage in our society. We all look fondly at our first time (legally) behind the wheel and mark that point as our crossing from being a child to being an adult. As we cross that threshold the definition of the automobile changes.
    BEFORE: Freedom to go anywhere and at anytime. Being alone in the car is our first taste of solitude.
    AFTER: Escort for our spouse, friends, and children to their various activities. Never alone in the car.

    2. Family

    As a child we all remember that one family member that we could not stand. They would always irritate us, embarrass us, maybe even pick on us. A funny thing has happened; that person is now your closest confidant and you look back at those childhood memories with a smile and great fondness. “Do you remember when…” is a phrase that is always used when the two of you get together.
    BEFORE: “Get away from me!”
    AFTER: “Lets do something this weekend. Give me a call.”

    3. Weekend

    The weekend was made as a time for us to relax and get our battery charged again. The definition on how we relax has changed as we get older.

    BEFORE: Have fun catching up with friends and staying up as long as you can.

    AFTER: Have fun catching up on sleep and trying to sleep as early as possible at night.

    4. Apple

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      Believe it or not there was a time when Apple was not the standard that all companies strive to emulate. It is well documented how bad and how close the company was to closing up shop. Today, Apple is the standard bearer and model for every company out there regardless of its industry.

      BEFORE: Michael Dell when asked what would he do if he was running Apple, said: “What would I do?  I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholder.”

      AFTER: A recent story from ABC news says that “Apple’s stock hit a new high of $102.78 in Thursday morning’s trading before falling back to close at $102.25, up 12 cents for the session. The shares have risen 25 percent in 2014.”

      5. Vitamins

      The pill that was always supposed to make up for our lack of eating the right foods. We were all forced to take this pill as a child. Now, we take it willingly hoping that it will slow down the forces of mother nature.

      BEFORE: Flintstone Vitamins

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      AFTER: One A Day vitamins

      6. Cell-Phone

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        Today’s modern cell phone can be called the swiss army knife of the electronics world. Subtract everything that a smart phone can do with the exception of making a phone call, sending a text message (20 characters or less), and playing games (actually one game…SNAKE) and you have a phone from the 1990’s.

        BEFORE: Nokia 5110

        AFTER: Iphone 6

        7. Mom

        A bond between a mother and her child is a life long connection. It was enduring as a child, irritating as a teenager and young adult, whileit is searched for as an adult.

        BEFORE: “Leave me alone, Mom!”

        AFTER: “Mom…I need your advice.”

        8. Friends

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          As a child, our definition of the word was limited to people that have actually seen us and know our real name. Social Media has completely redefined this word.

          BEFORE: The five kids that lived around the block from us.

          AFTER: The 5,000 followers we have on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Etc.

          9. Trouble

          The authority figure we had growing up (parents, teachers, etc.) have now been replaced by society.

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          BEFORE: “Please don’t call my parents.”

          AFTER: “Please don’t call the cops.”

          10. Directions

          During our parents time on the road, the way to navigate the streets was with a fold-up map. The internet made our travels a little easier.  Smart phones have now allowed even a 5 year old the opportunity to walk to grandma’s house.

          BEFORE: MapQuest (Still have to read directions)

          AFTER: Google maps (Turn by turn directions)

          11. Social Network

          One may argue that the large quantity of friends we have received from social media is the greatest thing the interest has given us. The outlet on how we accumulated those “friends” have changed as the years go by.

          BEFORE: Myspace

          AFTER: Facebook

          12. Expectation

          Expectation is going to change as we get older. The receiver is now the provider and the followers are now the leaders. This is the natural progression of our society

          BEFORE: You are expected to finish school.

          AFTER: You are expected to pay the bills.

          13. Collecting Videos

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            Movies serve as a time capsule for our life. Recall any old movie and you can also recall the age you were, what you were doing, and what you were going through at the time. This is the reason why we collect movies. The definition of movies haven’t change. The media on what we collect has changed.

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            BEFORE: DVD’s

            AFTER: AppleTV

            14. Complaining

            The beautiful thing about our society is that we have a voice. One of the powerful tools we have to voice our displeasure is to be vocal about our experience. Because of technology, the way we complain has changed and we can now reach more people to voice our opinions.

            BEFORE: “Let me talk to you manager.”

            AFTER: Let me complain on Yelp, Twitter, Trip Advisor, Angie’s List, etc.

            15. Movies

            Watching movies is an event that has been ruined by technology. Remember the times when going to the movies was exciting? Plans had to be made well in advance, transportation had to be secured, funds had to be ready. For better or worse we can now watch any movie at any time. Please be respectful of all intellectual property.

            BEFORE: “Let’s go to the movie theater to watch Hercules.”

            AFTER: “Lets get online and find a bootleg of Hercules.”

            16. Recording

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              The days when you would stand beside a radio, finger trembling, waiting for the start of your favorite song and praying that you press record after the DJ stops talking are long gone? Finding our favorite song is a lot easier now.

              BEFORE: Recording on a tape cassette.

              AFTER: Going on iTunes and buying the song. Some people just search google for a copy.

              17. Invitation

              Handing an invitation to someone for an event was as stressful as waiting at the DMV for your drivers license (See number 1). What if they say no? What if you cannot find them? Invitations were a buzzkill. Today, invitations are the least stressful task of any event.

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              BEFORE: Personally give a hard copy of the invitation.

              AFTER: Send an Evite, or set up an RSVP on social media like Facebook.

              18. Vacations

              Vacations are a time to spend with family and friends. Adults love them, kids look forward to them, teenagers despise them. Our age and stage in life determines how we define this word.

              BEFORE: “I don’t want to go. I dont want to stay with the family. I have a life. I miss my friends.”

              AFTER: “Where are the kids? Did we bring all the bags? You are going and you are going to have fun. Watch your brothers and sisters while we go out for awhile.”

              19. Saturday

              The definition of Saturday was to wake up early, watch TV, relax, and just do nothing! At least that used to be the definition. Saturday has turned out to be more hectic that monday.

              BEFORE: Saturday morning cartoons. Fun and relaxation.

              AFTER: Trying to sleep in but being awoken by your kids watching TV. Making them breakfast and getting them ready for baseball (football, gymnastics, soccer, ballet, etc.) and hoping you don’t forget anything as you rush out of the door.

              20. Blogging

              The beautiful thing about our society is that we have a voice (see number 14). The internet has allowed everyone and anyone to be a blogger. Blogging used to be done by people who were wannabe writers. Bloggers are now well respected writers with a captive audience.

              BEFORE: Only geeks and nerds blog.

              AFTER: Smart people blog and the readers have a great source of intellectual opinions. Also a great way to make money.

              We look back at our younger years and laugh at all the changes we have seen now that we are older. It is only a matter of time until our kids experience this as well.

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              Last Updated on April 11, 2019

              How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

              How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

              Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

              I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

              I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

              Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

              How Communication Skills Help Your Success

              Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

              Create a Positive Experience

              Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

              When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

              What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

              Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

              As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

              Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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              Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

              Help Leadership Skills

              It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

              Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

              As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

              Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

              If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

              Build Better Teams

              Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

              In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

              If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

              When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

              Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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              How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

              There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

              Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

              1. Listen

              Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

              Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

              People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

              Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

              Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

              2. Know Your Audience

              Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

              Here is a good way to think about it:

              Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

              You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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              3. Minimize

              I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

              He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

              Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

              State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

              The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

              4. Over Communicate

              So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

              What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

              Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

              Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

              Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

              There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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              5. Body Language

              The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

              When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

              In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

              When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

              Conclusion

              Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

              Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

              There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

              Now go communicate your way to success.

              More Resources About Effective Communication

              Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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