Lazy Speak September 2, 2012

Lazy Speak

by James Stefanile, ABR, GRI, SRES, QSC, REALTOR/Salesperson, Prudential NJ Properties, Montclair, NJ

I’m an adult.  I speak like an adult.  I pride myself in a vocabulary worthy of an adult.  I speak to my customers in a serious, adult manner.  I am an outspoken critic of lazy thinking or the un-thinking acceptance of what the rest of the herd is doing – in this case what the rest of the herd is saying.

It would appear that generic English has been replaced, in large part, by the popular use of hip phrases and catch words.  An emerging generation has dragged the rest of us along, convincing us to use trite, lazy phraseology which makes a clichéd shorthand of language, suitable for texting.  I’ll bold face a few examples of this as we go along.  I see real estate practitioners practicing Lazy Speak all the time and I don’t think it enhances our reputation and certainly doesn’t make us look any too smart as we go for the gold!, growing our business.  Been there, done that!

Well, let’s do this!  Let’s have a frank discussion of the way many of us speak, overly influenced by the young as we go for it! in the business world.  I may be a nerd but I’m no noob.  I agree that sounding old-fashioned is not impressive.  However, I’m not in favor of surrendering my identity by trying to sound like everyone else.  That’s sick!   I’m not blaming young people.  We’ve all been much too willing to abbreviate our speech and adopt this herd mentality toward language. I like to keep it real! but as myself, not some adolescent.  Have an interesting way with words? – I’m impressed!  Like, totally, the most interesting speakers, in my opinion, are those who sound like themselves, not an imitation of the larger, popular culture – now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!  In some extreme cases, I’ve even heard spoken language and seen written communication made up, primarily, of text message abbreviations.  UGTBK! GAC! SSIF! FOMCL!  Translation: You’ve got to be kidding! Get a clue! So stupid it’s funny!  Falling off my chair laughing!  Social media is full of this.  That’s crazy!

For those of you not sold on my thesis – hang in there! – and I’ll try to be persuasive even though this is a late summer post and I’m kind of on vaycay and just chillaxin’.  Even so, I’m excited! to be tackling this subject.  I’m down! with the opinion that we should not be walking platitudes and I’m all in! for suggesting an alternative.  Sweet!

Let’s back up and take a good look at I’m excited! How many times have I heard this in the business world?  “We’re excited you’re joining our TEAM!” (don’t get me started on the “T” word, especially in real estate where you have an arbitrary group of people in an office, all contractors, with no official affiliation to each other).  “I’m excited to be marketing your home!”  You’re excited?  Really??  Like, seriously??  Is your heart rate accelerated?  Are you experiencing shortness of breath?  Perspiration, perhaps?  No?  THEN YOU’RE NOT EXCITED!  Knock yourself out! with your overstated excitation but YOU ARE NOT EXCITED!  What mis-users of this word, evidently, mean is that they are pleased with whatever it is, can see an opportunity and future benefits but they, actually, lessen their reaction and the object of their enthusiasm by using this exaggerated shorthanded.  I’m just sayin’…  Whatever…

Language is awesome!  It’s proper use makes us sound amazing and epic!  And a well crafted sentence is incredible!  The mis-use of superlatives, however, actually diminishes whatever the subject by describing obviously ordinary things and experiences in overly florid, sometimes incorrect, terms.  “I had an INCREDIBLE conversation!”  Did you, now?  Was it with Gandhi?  Martin Luther King?  Jesus?  No?  Then I’m betting it was interesting, invigorating, even enlivening – but not necessarily incredible.  If incredible, what you’re saying is your conversation was implausible, improbable, inconceivable, insupposable, unbelievable, unimaginable or unthinkable.  DYNWUTB? (Do you know what you’re talking about?)

Seriously, dude, the way we speak categorizes us to our listeners.  OMG! At the end of the day it’s so easy for us as REALTORS to be buttonholed as a dumbass after just a few lame words escape from our ultramaroon mouths.  Eww!  Epic fail!  I’m not against having a little fun with language but sounding dumb or like a hipster doofus is a no brainer by practicing Lazy Speak – Duh!   A whack impression can be a slam dunkDon’t even go there!  That’s bogus!  On the other hand, with just a little fore-thought, we can make a much more favorable impression.  That’s good stuff!   A few well-chosen, adult, words and SCORE!  BA-ZING! you’re well-regarded (or as they used to say in my old neighborhood – BADA BING!). LOL!

For those of you with contrasting opinions of all this – not a problem!  Bring it on!  Shoot me some comments ASAP,  homeys, and we’ll have a confab.  Let’s get some buzz going and get the 411 on this subject.  Good Job!  GWHTLC. G2GICYAL8ER 🙂