Each year, Mexico City’s Escuela Libre de Derecho announces a law-school elective course inconspicuously titled “Legal English Workshop.” Now approaching its twenty-fifth year, the course is still taught by attorney, professor, and author Javier F. Becerra. The professor has written two legal dictionaries, the Dictionary of United States Legal Terminology (with Spanish explanations) and the Dictionary of Mexican Legal Terminology (with English explanations), each more than 1,000 pages, that are prized assets in many legal translators’ collections.
Becerra’s dictionaries on my shelf, in brown and yellow.
The Walking Dictionary
To understand Becerra’s dictionaries, however, we must leave the professor at his lectern for a moment and find him as a young Mexican lawyer, Continue reading →
This week one question on LinkedIn garnered more than 400 responses:
Maybe we should make our marketing copy more customer-centric
What are the corporate buzzwords we’d like to banish?
Buzzwords are fascinating because when they’re fresh, people often use them to signal membership in a social group. But, much like fashion trends, when they become ubiquitous the group considers the word pedestrian and moves on. Never one to overlook the opportunity to do some sociolinguistic analysis, I did a little back-of-the-envelope calculation to find the top ten offenders:
at the end of the day
leverage (as a verb)
socialize (a project or idea to someone)
ask (as a noun -”My ask is this…”)
blue sky (as a verb)
Clearly, being out of the corporate world since forever has kept me out of the loop, because I have never heard several of these. I have no idea what it means to blue-sky something to someone, for example, but it came up a lot. And, although it wasn’t in the top ten, productionize struck me as particularly useless. It turns out, though, that it does have a nuance that produce lacks; productionize means to roll out a new product or service after a pilot period.