Know the Lingo

As I stood surrounded by young men dressed in camouflage and boxes of unopened merchandise, I listened intently to the sounds that filled the air: The crunch of airsoft pellets under my cowboy boots, the distinctive “ping” they make as they hit designated targets, and an occasional, “Ha! Missed me!” are all sounds that warm my heart—sounds that are familiar. Shortly after the dust had settled and the opportunity presented itself for the boys to reload and recharge, I was suddenly surrounded by something I didn’t understand: new lingo. Amidst the nonstop chatter and play-by-play recountings of the friendly battle came a steady flow of letters and numbers I had never heard.

“I have a M4 A1 RIS Double Eagle M83.”

“Mine’s a JG M4 S-System Special Ops.”

“Cool, I would love to have a ICS C-15 M16 Sniper Fixed stock.”

These terms meant nothing in my mama world—or did they? Although I didn’t know what the boys were talking about at the time, the lingo was important. It represented a block between me and good communication with my boys. I’d have to learn the lingo.

“Lingo” simply means the special vocabulary of a particular field of interest. Simply put, if you want to communicate with a particular set of folks, you’d better know the lingo. Today’s world provides all sorts of areas of special interest, and the home school community is no different. Learning the lingo as a support group leader is vital to good communication with your group. Young mothers speak a language of toddlers, blogs, and kindergarten. Seasoned veterans talk of graduation, crazy technology, and how to stay on top of the online activity calendar. You have to know the lingo.

So where do you begin? Easy. Take time to learn. This month’s featured article from Nancy E. Schwartz, “Five Tech Tips to Punch Up Your Nonprofit Communications,” will give us some ideas on how to make our online communication more effective.

Another area where we may lack proper lingo is in the political arena. THSC Capitol Days are sure to fill that void. From the informative sessions to the practical application, this event is sure to update your legislative lingo.

The world of lingo is ever changing. Be prepared, take time to learn, and you’ll rarely be caught in a sea of unknown chatter.

Read the entire March 2013 Leader Letter.