WYWO: Reclaiming tired terms

In March 2020, Corona & Virus released their updated style guide with these recommendations for professional correspondence:

  1. Times must be unprecedented
  2. Normal is now new
  3. Emails should hope to find their recipients well

Okay, that may not be entirely true—but it certainly felt that way.

The early days of the pandemic introduced us to a slew of new expressions and turns of phrase. And it wasn’t long before countless companies turned to these terms as a way to maintain consistency in the face of uncertainty.

It also wasn’t long before we got tired of hearing them.

This article from Dictionary.com lists eight words and phrases their followers never wanted to hear again once the pandemic ended—and it was published a mere five weeks into lockdown.

But while I also hope to never receive another email from a pizza chain encouraging me to “stay safe,” I do think there’s an argument to be made for reclaiming some of the tired terms.

Holding on to “essential” workplace terms and phrases

Language is powerful. That’s why, as customer service experts, we refer to certain positive expressions as “power phrases.”

Here are a few of those pandemic power phrases I’d hate to see retired just because they were featured in one-too-may social media posts:

  • Essential: The spotlight on frontline workers has, unfortunately, dimmed in recent months. But that doesn’t mean these individuals aren’t still as essential as they were at the beginning of (and before) the pandemic.
  • Uncertain: Ambiguity can be scary. But it can also be exciting. Uncertainty is what drives industry disruptions and new ways of thinking—two things we desperately need in an ever-changing market landscape.
  • WFH: The ability to work from home has benefited both enterprises and employees alike (myself included). Even as some companies encourage their teams to RTO, the positive impact that remote work has on productivity and employee happiness is hard to ignore—and is here to stay.

As for the rest, well, they can go ahead and keep their (social) distance from my inbox.

Till next time!

Share a power phrase or two with us over on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.