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The case of yesterday-itis | Slangbusters Blog
Sep 1, '20

The case of yesterday-itis

Let’s talk about the infamous managers and top tier executives and their unrealistic demand of delivery schedules. Maybe find a resolution?

Apparently, “I need it yesterday” is just one of the many toxic corporate ‘talk-ologies’ (pardon, these words shouldn’t be called language) But this one is that needs to leave the board room and we want it to go yesterday.

Yesterday-itis is seldom used to exaggerate emergencies. What was supposed to be an idiom for I need it as soon as possible, or at the earliest has now developed a tonality of emergencies. The fact that managers do not invest time in prioritizing a task and marking everything at a high emergency level, this approach will not only reduce the value of the term that actually metaphorize emergency, but it will take away it’s meaning and will reduce your employee’s trust in you.

They will stop taking you seriously. And as a leader/director/mentor, that is the last thing you want when you describe your relationship with your employees.

I want it done yesterday is now almost an impulse to the question of deadlines. You will not only lose trust but also lose on the quality of the deliverables. Employees might start taking their job as work and not as fulfilling passion projects.

The essence of urgency dies when you exaggerate.

A still from the Netflix show, "Masaba Masaba"

So what does ‘urgent’ mean anyway?

Something of higher priority; requiring immediate action or attention. It has synonyms with similar meanings such as desperate, critical, crucial, pressing, top priority, high priority, important, vital, and many other words from the dictionary.

In a nutshell, it is an act of putting a task in utmost priority. But then, how did the first priority became past tense?

Let’s get into the linguistics and etymology of urgency.

The usage graph of the word urgent started seeing what seems like a never-ending peak right around mid-1700’s. Exactly when the industrial revolution was taking shape in Britain. This revolution was the perfect semiotic for considering humans as cogs in giant industrial machines.

The Google Ngram graph for the use of the word ‘urgent’ from the year 1700 to 1850

Two and a half centuries later, the only development we have done is the replacement of humans as literal machines of the industry to the thinking cells of the entity. The semiotic remains the same, only that now we are cogs of the brains of corporate machines.

Google Ngram shows a sudden rise in the use of the word ‘branding’ which hasn’t seen plateauing yet, and rightly so. This was around the late 1990s and the start of 2000 when they borrowed the word from the concept of stamping of cattle skin with a hot iron to mark it as their property. It made people question and decide what you want- a corporate machine or an institution responsible for drastic and positive changes in your industry?

How does this relate to branding?

Instagram CEO, Kevin Systrom talking about giving new Instagram identity project to Ian Spalter, Head of Design at Instagram

You see, it is not news that branding is more than just a logo. When designers are still seen to be complaining about the client asking for a bigger logo, branding has evolved to be more about something that is about the essence of the organization, not the looks of it.

It is not just about how you communicate to everyone outside the organization, but also inside. That is where the importance of being clear, concise, and exaggerating while communicating. It avoids unnecessary failures.

Say what you precisely mean and you will experience the trust you are earning. It is not a coincidence that this applies to leadership etiquette and even to concepts of positioning and brand communication.

This is exactly what we do at Slangbusters. Jargon-free communication. We explain better. Contact us now and experience the Slangbusters branding process.

— by Manas, Content Strategist, Slangbusters Studio

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