There are words that we use in our private lives. Words like love, and grief, joy, desire, loss and hate. We talk about intuition, and instinct. And there are words we use professionally. Words like impact, and metrics, indicators and scrutiny.
I call these two sets of words our twin lexicons and I argue that if we are ever to meet our objectives, we need to start being a little more bi- lingual. I argue that the two parallel lexicons distort what we are trying to do and create a false distinction between the public and the private. And that this distinction has been useful, and important, but is no longer fit for our more complex purpose.
Mary is in her late sixties and lives alone. She has diabetes, angina and hypertension. Her hearing is deteriorating and her mobility is becoming difficult. Everyday normal things are a struggle for Mary.
One day, Mary gets a knock on the door. She opens the door and finds a young man called Steven on her doorstep. He’s from her local GP practice and knows her doctor. He wonders if Mary is free to have a general chit-chat about how she’s getting on. Mary smiles and invites him into her home. They make their way to her kitchen and she puts on the kettle.