Counting both noun and verb forms, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) lists and defines thirteen separate ‘gigs’. 

‘A flighty, giddy girl’ was where it all started and then ‘spin’, ‘whirl’, ‘whirligig’, ‘fool’, giggle and ‘joke’ are all in one way or associated with the word. Even when you get up to the 18th century where it meant ‘light one-horse carriage’, its origin might be ..

perhaps based on the ‘bouncing, whirling’ sense of the earlier ‘gig’.

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Guernica – Picasso – 1937

Did John Lyndon Hate The Floyd?

Is Pink Floyd a punk band?

Are people really surprised when Roger Waters delivers protest?

Why is the film not Called ‘Us and Them’?

All this and more in this week’s newsletter.

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I have had versions of the following post on a number of different blogs and publications for the longest time. The time has come to formalize it, since content, its ownership and how we think about it  is critical to the principles of People First. 

A recent question from someone in one of my many groups …

“Why is it so difficult to find a freelance writing gig?

My reply …

Because the people who pay for writing have no clue of the value, which is why they call it ‘content’ which we know has no value and is homogenous ‘filler’ that can be swapped out at a moments notice.

Here’s my basic rule …

Please – Do Not Call ‘It’ Content!

…. book, novel, short story, article, white paper, promotional piece, advert, painting, sculpture, song, opera, photograph, image, graphic art, poster, fine art … anything … anything but ‘content’.


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… a building block of Language, one of the Tenets of People First. We are developing and sharing a new vocabulary that continues to evolve in the course of conversation between People First, its customers, partners and members..

We use this vocabulary to shift the topics and change the conversation about how we put People First in the work we do and the way we live.

The Future of Work The Present Of Work
Work Life Balance Pay Purpose Play
Gig Economy Portfolio Lifestyle
Customer Experience Employee Experience
Talent Acquisition Working with People
B2B Me2B
Competition Cooperation
Me Us
Exclusive Inclusive
Hierarchical Networked
Tightly Managed Loosely Coupled
Winner Takes All Winner Contributes
Tomorrow Today
Continual Change Continuous Change
Corporations People

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Those same organizations that use phrases like; ‘Share of Wallet’, ‘Attacking and Targeting a Market’ (that’s you and me folks) and breaking down those ‘Adoption Barriers’ are exactly the same organizations that say things like ‘Your Passion Is Our Satisfaction‘, ‘Pleasing People Is Our Motto‘ and ‘A Customer Is Always Right‘.

Which language do you believe reflects the true nature of the corporation?

Me? I think what is said behind closed doors more often reflects the truth. What is broadcast in public is what they think we want to hear. It’s politics, not business, but isn’t that what happened to Mitt Romney?

This weeks newsletter explores corporate language and asks why have people just blindly adopted it without question? It doesn’t serve us – only the coorporation.

Read the whole thing here.

If you want to keep abreast with People First developments, share your best email with us and it will be done.

It’s funny how things work out sometimes. Since the beginning, ‘language’ has been a core pillar of People First. I’ve written about it from time to time, but was not intending to get into the meat for a while. Then – after last week’s newsletter, I received an email that resonated in so many ways, that this week’s newsletter morphed into riff on …. Language.

And then this morning, I was just browsing through some of my draft posts deciding what to publish next – and up pops this from Hugh Macleod and Gaping Void.

Why Words Do Matter

In other words, successful CEOS tend to ‘get’ the culture idea that language is the foundation of culture.

Hugh Macleod

Talk about the universe working in mysterious ways. Needless to say, we agree.

Now we just need to ensure that the corporates don’t takeover the language of culture as they have changed our day to day language, with their militaristic business jargon.