Saying What You Mean

Dropped by the New York Times today and watched a segment on ‘The Sweet Spot’. A.O.Scott and David Carr were discussing what A.O. Scott called, ‘…something that gets a little under my skin, which is the jargon of the digital universe.’ The segment video starts with Scott giving Carr a ribbing for using technology terms in his writing. My favorite part of the exchange:

David Carr: ‘My site’s in beta. I’ve been dogfooding the product to check its scalability, its user interface, and see just how sticky it is on the social graph. And I’m going to use big data to do it.”

A.O. Scott: ‘It does give me a little frisson, I have to say. It’s like, wow, this guy, this guy is on top of it…’

David Carr: ‘But you have no idea what I just said.’

I work in technology. Most of my coworkers — who generally are smart people, many of whom read the NY Times — probably wouldn’t recognize the word ‘frisson’. Words that mean what you want to say can be hard to avoid.


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