5 Truths on Language in the Salon + 1 Giant Rant
Sticks and stones may break my bones...but words can be just as harmful.
We already have to walk through a world of PC-ness, HR driven careful consideration for the multi-faceted global community we are now a part of. I thought 'radical,' 'bodacious', 'tubular,' 'da bomb' was bad. Then the world starting 'fo-shizzling' everything in sight. 'Yaaaaaasssss' is more of an inflection.
Businesses and Idols, especially in the beauty industry, that actually type out 'Supes' or 'Gorg' are either trying too hard to appeal to the 20-something iGeneration hairdresser, or else they actually have a PR person that thinks phonetic vernacular is acceptable to its audience.
Why is this such a thorn? I have been known to use the word 'pic'. Sometimes I will type 'U' in a text. I'm guilty of it. But here's a few tips for you Destroyers out there when it comes to language.
- Using generational vernacular (gorg) with a client not of your generation (i.e. anyone else) can alienate them.
- Vice versa, overly-complicated words can alienate. I love Verisimilitude, I acknowledge that using it annoys co-workers.
- Avoid industry terminology with guests. They don't need to know their color is 12aa. 'Champagne Blonde' sounds better.
- Keep it PG: no curse words.
- Learn the hardest word to say: No. No your goals are unrealistic (and then give options.) No, I don't work for free (and then offer your rate) No, I can't come in on my day off (and don't give a reason. You don't need one) Yes to yourself. No explanations.
Some words shouldn't be shortened. Perf is not a word. Gorg is either the Borg nephew from Star Trek or a deep, narrow valley with steep rocky sides, often with a stream flowing through it. Supes is not super, nor is it Sup? which is just a lazy way of saying 'what's up?' which is another lazy way of saying 'what is happening in your world?'
The language we choose to use means something. We don't call it a 90 degree haircut, we talk of volume and shape. We don't say 'yellow blonde' we say 'honey' or 'golden.'
Age matters. If you start abbreviating (abbrev.) un-abbreviable words, you run the risk of losing the respect of mentors and guests. And no, they do not have to adapt to the new generation. They made it through life without the help of iGeneration, but iGeneration may not make it past the five year mark without mentors and guests.
If you have anything street-slang derived to say, best to say nothing at all.
Elevate the craft of hairdressing. You deserve it.