Celebrating the Big 25!

number 25 in flat designYeah, that’s right. Last week, I told you no one cares about your anniversary and/or your birthday. And now here I am, whooping it up over our 25th Language Lab podcast.

But I’m not really whooping. I’m sharing.

I just took a look at which podcasts had been listened to the most. To be honest, I thought there’d be a type of word that piqued listeners’ interest. New words or funky words or made up words. You see, podcasting was a new venture for Claxon. It was an experiment. The goal was to offer word-loving do-gooders a new way to think about language (and, on occasion, life).  To that end, we’ve looked at a wide variety of words: words we use all the time (e.g. ‘and’), words we rarely use (e.g. ‘peregrination’) and words that aren’t really words at all (e.g. ‘alot’).

As you’ll see from the Top 3 Most-Listened to Podcasts below, there wasn’t a trend. Nope. No type of word jumped out as most popular and compelling. Oh well. Still fun to see which words got the most air-time, as it were.

If you have shared these podcasts with others–THANK YOU. I work hard to make these podcasts worthy of your time and deeply appreciate you sharing them with others.

If haven’t listened to a podcast yet, here are the ones your do-gooding colleagues have found the most interesting. I hope you enjoy!







No one cares about your anniversary

Delicious birthday cupcake on table on light backgroundJust like you and your mom are really the only ones who care about your birthday, very few people care when your organization has an anniversary.

The reality is people care about ourselves. It’s human nature. So your birthday really isn’t that big of a deal to most other people. Not that they aren’t happy for you. But it’s not, like, a super huge deal.

Ditto for organizational anniversaries. Should you celebrate milestones? Sure. But make sure you’re clear on what you’re really doing and why. Don’t waste resources celebrating something that other people don’t really care about.

As counter-intuitive as it may seem, don’t make the celebration about your organization. Make it about the change you’ve created during that period of time. Make it about the people you’ve been fortunate enough to serve and work with. Make it about your donors and volunteers and supporters who made it all possible.

Birthdays and anniversaries are good times to pause and reflect on who, and what, is important to you. What’s working? Who can you thank for that? What’s not working? How can you change that?

One handy, yet albeit odd, way to come at this whole birthday/anniversary thing is from the perspective of a eulogy.  Sounds weird but is really powerful. Listen to this week’s podcast and you’ll get to hear one of the very best “eulogies” ever written. It’ll give you a whole new perspective on things!


Should you stick with it or take a break?

humor, journey, arriving, lead

When it comes to messaging and language and words, it’s easy to get stuck. You’ve stared at the same set of words for hours. You want to yank your hair out. But the deadline is looming. You must stick with it!!!

Yes, you have to remain focused on your priority for the day. But maybe what you need is a good ol’ peregrination. Yep, some purposeful mental meandering might be exactly what you need to get you to your goal. 

Not sure what a peregrination is? Kick up your heels and find it in this week’s podcast. You just might find that taking a break gets you closer to arriving at your destination.


Are you sorry? Really?

Sorry Torn Paper ConceptAs I was walking into the office this morning, a woman with a jaunty ponytail was wheeling a trolley filled with boxes through a set of double doors. I had to wait about 8 seconds for her to maneuver through the door. As she passed me, she said, “So sorry to make you wait.”

I thought, “Geez, no need to be sorry. No biggie to have to wait. It was only 8 seconds!”

This got me thinking about the word ‘sorry’. We hear it and use it all the time. But what does it really mean?!

Vicki, one of our fab interns, thinks the words ‘I’m sorry’ are straight up lame. She goes so far as to tell us never to say ‘I’m sorry’ in this post.

I’m not sure I can get behind the categorical elimination of the words “I’m sorry” because sometimes you really are sorry. It’s how you say the words and what you follow up with that makes a difference, it turns out. If you listen to this week’s Language Lab podcast, I lay out the anatomy of an effective apology and look at how different cultures relate to, and use, the word ‘sorry’. Kinda fascinating, IMHO.

The Wordifier
data showed us that 16.9% of nonprofits use the word ‘sorry’ on their website. It gets a yellow “Whoa, Nelly” light. I’m curious about this. Are nonprofits sorry for something they’ve done? Are they referring to a sorry state of affairs which they are trying to rectify? For what are nonprofits sorry? Certainly not for doing everything in their power to create a better world. Further research may reveal more on nonprofits’ relationship with apologies. I just hope they’re following-up with the two magic questions that make for an effective apology (which I cover, yep, in the podcast).



Are you confussled?

Businessman confusingConfused + fussed = confussled

Yep, it’s a sniglet. My daughter coined it while doing her homework recently. Flummoxed could’ve worked. But confussled is so fun to say that it makes you smile. And when you smile, you become less fussed about the whatever is bugging you. So you un-confussle yourself just by saying you’re confussled. How cool is that?!

This podcast is about language’s infinite capacity for adaptability…and what that means for you.


Heard any good sniglets recently?