You know you’re a writer when you mispronounce words

I returned to my Bredemarket podcast after a brief absence and recorded this episode late this morning. While recording the episode, I made reference to the Mayo Clinic.

After recording and publishing the episode, I began wondering if I had pronounced “Mayo” correctly. When I spoke the word during the episode, it sounded more like an ancient civilization than a condiment.

By Daniel Schwen – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

So, because the Internet knows everything, I searched for the proper pronunciation of “Mayo Clinic” and located this YouTube video.

Yep…it’s a condiment.

By jules – rolls royce mayonnaise, CC BY 2.0,

And this was not a simple five second video. The video is a minute long and constantly repeats “Mayo Clinic,” reminding me over and over of my mistake.

And that, my friends, is how you can identify a writer. Writers can’t pronounce things.

Is “social distancing” socially distant? It depends.

I’m attending a webinar, organized by The Economist and sponsored by Onfido. The webinar’s title is “A whole new (contactless) world: The rise of digital identity.”

The keynote interview just finished, and the interviewee was Anne Chow of AT&T Business.

In the course of the interview, Chow observed that she does not care for the term “social distancing,” and would prefer to use the term “physical distancing.” She noted that our social links are what are keeping us together as we are distant from each other.

However, this is more or less true depending upon who you are. Some people are just fine or mostly fine with electronic interactions with coworkers and others, while others are truly bothered by it.

For example, there are those who are comfortable with Zoom and Teams and Meet and WebEx and all of the other conferencing platforms, as well as asynchronous communications methods (including old fashioned email).

Then there are others. For example, some people refuse to use telehealth and insist on seeing physical doctors, and refuse to use phone trees and start pressing “0” the first chance they get. (And some of them don’t like absentee ballots, but that’s a different issue.)

And it doesn’t matter how good the technologies get, whether you’re talking about 5G (or 6G or 7G), Internet of Things, or Edge Computing. It won’t be the same.

So how do we construct a hybrid world that allows those who need physical interaction to co-exist with those who do not?