SHiFT: Dead Words Walking

by Luke Wroblewski September 28, 2006

Thomas Madsen-Mygdal's Dead Words Walking presentation at SHiFT 2006 pointed out that our language is a "reduced version of reality and thereby becomes reality." As a result, we can hack our language to ultimately change reality.

Thomas had the crowd vote on whether to keep words as they are currently interpreted, fight to shift their meaning, or get rid of them all together. His suggestions:

  • Words to promote & use: Conversations, Renaissance, Framing
  • Words to maintain but fight to shift meaning: Media, Podcasting, Weblog, Innovation
  • Words to remove: Brand, Web 2.0, Pirates, Consumer, User Generated Content

A few additional notes:

  • Language is Reduction: we simplify concepts into terms.
  • Language Hacker Ethics: Your language should be the change you want to achieve.
  • Consumers: "gullets who live only gulp products and crap cash