I am a creative communicator. Or I used to be when the words meant something different.

Every year, LinkedIn release their list of the most over-used buzzwords in people’s profiles. And every year, journalists write about it. Partly because newsroom cuts mean that churnalism is getting more prevalent. And partly because writers can’t resist news (even if it’s spurious non-news) about words.

This year, LinkedIn report that the number one buzzword was ‘creative’. This reminded me of something I’ve been pondering for a while: the fact that the world of business (or ‘enterprise’ as we’re now supposed to call it) is stealing our words.

Once, ‘creative’ described someone who created things. Musicians, artists… yes, and writers too. Nowadays, it seems to be another word for ‘innovative’. Which means, basically, being able to think up more ways to make money. Nothing wrong with that in itself, but why steal a word from a different world to describe it?

Then there’s ‘communication’. I used to think that ‘communication’ was a good umbrella word for all the things that I do professionally: in short, building bridges to get an idea across. Nowadays, it just means ‘PR’. Or something to do with telephone systems.


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