This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

The first seven words: Nuts and Bolts

How do you get a job interview?

A study by Yale University of pre-interview discussions with 274 candidates for a laboratory manager post has shown that in the USA it tends to be the people believed to be of the highest social class.

The study was led by Dr Michael Kraus, assistant professor of organisational behaviour at the Yale School of Management. 

'We rarely talk explicitly about class,' he said. (Which makes me realise what a foreign country the USA is (I'm British).)

The next question is, how does social class reveal itself? 

The conclusion of the study is that it's in the first seven words that comes out of a candidate's mouth. It's in the speech patterns, and in the accent. In other words it's not in the content of what you say but in the way that you say it.

(Mind you, if you've only said seven words then you're not likely to have got much further than hello, your name, and your business, so perhaps that's not surprising.)

The surprising thing to come out of the study is that high-class speech was found to be associated not just with grammatical or historical traditions but with the voices of Amazon's Alexa and other similar robots. 

So if you want the job, speak like a robot.

The trouble is, who wants a job where the boss wants to employ a robot?

Word To Use Today: one in the accent of your youth. I'll go with k'NOW, which when written down is usually spelled canal. The word comes from the Latin word canālis, water pipe, from canna, reed.

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