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Story 07: Managing the Organization

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Shorthand Language

Written by Elaine Heumann Gurian

We invented lingo that was shorthand for agreed-upon concepts. "Green and leafy" meant boring. "A bottle of wine" meant that something too costly and outside the budget scope was being sneaked into the project with a mutual wink all around. "Bunnies and duckies" was a disparaging term for anything that was too cute and cloying. There were other terms less repeatable and even more colorful. Staff members Sing Hanson and Janet Kamien, in particular, created wonderful turns of phrase that were much appreciated, and all soon adopted their unique language. The use of private language, like slang and patois everywhere, had the quality of bonding us into a private group. (See In-House Glossary at the end of this chapter for more terms.)

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