Although you're back at your desk after the long holiday weekend, you may be having trouble focusing on all that work you need to tackle.
Instead, pretend to learn a completely new dialect. Language, after all, is a serious subject, one worthy of your attention on this Tuesday-that-feels-just-like-Monday. What words you choose, how you construct your messages, whether you translate into other languages--these are all issues that merit your full attention.
But I'm not talking about any of that. I'm encouraging you to relax and have fun with language by visiting a strange website that translates messages into four completely useless but hysterical dialects: Jive. Pig Latin. Valley Girl. And Swedish Chef (that famous Muppet character).
It's really easy to do. You simply take a passage of writing, put it into the text box, and choose the language you want to translate it into.
For example, let's say you're working on articulating the company strategy and have developed the following:
Our new strategy will center on providing distinctive, consumer-oriented products and services to members in targeted markets. By focusing more sharply on the customer segments that align with our strengths and offer the best profit potential, we will be better able to provide consumers with a wider range of product choices, including more open access products.
Pretty dry and corporate, isn't it? You're worried that, like other high-level messages you've written, it will be shared and then disappear into the ether, never to be seen again.
You need to inject some life into this dreck. Maybe it would be more compelling in Jive? Let's give it a try:
Our new strategy gots'ta centa' on providin' distinctive, consumer-o'iented products and services t'members in targeted markets. By focusin' mo'e sharply on de customa' segments dat align wid our strengds and offa' de best profit potential, we gots'ta be betta' able t'provide consumers wid some wida' range uh product choices, includin' mo'e jimmey access products. What it is, Mama!
Much, much better. Would it be even more effective in Swedish Chef? Let's give that first sentence a whirl:
Ooor noo stretegy veell center oon prufeeding deestinctife-a, cunsoomer-ooreeented prudoocts und serfeeces tu members in tergeted merkets.
Hmm, maybe not. And although Pig Latin has some appeal--after all, don't a lot of company messages seem like they're written to obscure instead of explain?--and Valley Girl is, like, tempting, you feel that Jive has exactly the tone you seek.
So, go ahead. Visit the webpage. Do the translation. Hit the send button. Wait for the feedback that's sure to follow. Then start job-hunting.
Have a good day, everybody! (Or, as the Swedish chef would say, "Hefe-a a guud dey, iferybudy! Bork Bork Bork!")