Marketers love a good rebrand, including the rebranding of language itself.

Social change often starts with the words we choose to talk about a group or situation, but I’m more curious about popularized terminology we now genuinely use (i.e., phrases we say without irony) whose origins were potentially conjured up in the boardroom rather than in the basements of social justice.

Some examples that come to mind:

-Vegetarian = Plant-based
-Search = Google
-Pound sign = Hashtag
-Weed/pot = Cannabis
-Go on a diet = Adjust your nutrition (okay, maybe that one deserves a mandatory roll of the eye)
-Career change = Pivot
-Freelancers = Contingent workforce / Gig economy

What else you got?

Just throwing some thoughts out there. Agree, disagree, and add to the list.


Advocates of non-binary gender equality, and grammar nerds, collectively rejoice. But what will the bots think?

Photo Credit: Etsy

1. “Every customer thinks they want one thing, but we discover what they actually need.”

Spot the errors in the sentence above? According to old-school grammar police, this sentence should be corrected to:

2. “Every customer thinks he or she wants one thing, but we discover what he or she actually needs.”

Until recently, the singular “they” was considered a no-go. But how annoyingly cumbersome is that second, although technically correct, sentence to read? Makes you want to flip the whole thing to avoid the singular use altogether:

3. “Customers think they want one thing, but we discover what they…


You’re too damn busy running the world to do it all yourself

Ghostwriting can get a bad rap. Journalists love a good debate over whether or not the profession is even ethical. Since I make a living by ghostwriting for executives and entrepreneurs, I’ll let you guess which side of the argument I rest on.

I want to give a huge shout out to This is Us actress, Chrissy Metz, who proudly shared the name of the ghostwriter who helped write her new memoir (his name is Kevin Carr O’Leary, btw) during an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. So stunned over Chrissy’s admission, Colbert actually paused to commend Chrissy…


The Citizens Against Full-Time, Normal-Ass, Employment-How-It-Used-To-Be Association’s top five reasons why nothing beats the life of a home-lancer

Greetings! Your friends at the Citizens Against Full-Time, Normal-Ass, Employment-How-It-Used-To-Be Association (CAFTNAEHIUTBA for short) understand that you might at times look back fondly on your days as a full-time employee for some big corporate master machine. But also remember how the bottom of the full-time-job-plus-pension paradigm fell out from under you, and now, here you are. At home. With bills to pay and no nanny in site. CAFTNAEHIUTBA exists to remind you to embrace your enviable home-lancing lifestyle. Honestly, what choice do…


The morning started out fine. Plowing through the endless to-do list as per plan. Finally sent a high-stakes proposal around noon. Now, waiting for that one potential client to respond to my email. The email I whispered a few Hail Mary’s over as I hit send. The one that could launch a new era of pricing and scope for my fledgling little company. Will they balk? Pluck out my eyes? Accept it?

I get down to work with my PM deliverables. The distraction is probably good. I must dig into the knowns in front of me rather than fixate on…


Have you done it? Yeah, you have. I’ve done it too; scrolled through too many glossy social posts, the ones that entice me to love my urban lifestyle, outdoor adventure, fitness and indulgence. And if I don’t embrace these obviously very reasonable things that influencers are telling me I should, then clearly I’m only half the person I thought I was.

Social media is an unapologetic, equal-opportunist when it comes to praying on delicate egos. …


I love your bad copy. Your split infinitives display the brash recklessness of a 16-year-old with car keys and a stolen six-pack. I hope you take that as a compliment.

You were fearless when writing it all down. And I do mean all of it. Even though, technically speaking, it’s dreadful, I can feel the soul you put into it. Your soul. I know it’s there, hiding behind a sluggish cliché or a sincerely felt, but, let’s be honest, gratuitous adjective.

I love uncapping a fresh red Bic (AKA: clicking on “track changes,” but who can argue against the commanding…

Aryn Kalson-Sperandio

I help professionals sound like the leaders they already are. Visit me at truestoryconsulting.com.

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