Home > Leftovers, The Power of Sweet Monkey Pie > Coming to terms with "these tough economic times"

Coming to terms with "these tough economic times"

As I’ve been watching the stock market spiral into mid-90s territory – and realizing that my dream of retiring before, oh, 90, is gone – it’s been tough to find any bright spots.  I mean, it’s really been a tough few months.  When Citi can announce that it’s finally profitable and it causes a 300-point jump in the Dow, that’s a testament to the state of the economy.

In fact, the recent economic downturn has even changed the way we talk to one another.  At work, at home or just around friends, we’re continually couching things in terms of the economy.

For example, I did a webcast for my company a couple of weeks ago where we were talking about ways to use better data management techniques to cut business costs.  Just to see if it was possible, I decided not to reference the current economic situation.  Just keep it about the facts.  And it was difficult.  It was the elephant in the room, and it was hard as hell not to reference it.  Shoot, it was like an elephant taking a smelly dump right next to me in the room.  Got that visual?  Good.

To me, it seems like the phrase “in these tough economic times” has been my go-to phrase.  To see if it’s pervasive enough, I googled the exact phrase “In these tough economic times.” The result: 774,000 results.  Three quarter of a million pages.  That’s incredible.  But, think about how much more efficient and productive we’d be if we started using a faster version of that term.

So, my proposal… let’s just started using ITTET (pronounce it-TET) instead of starting a sentence with “In these tough economic times.”  That’s two syllables versus nine.  Roughly a second or two with each use.  That adds up to maybe 10-20 seconds every day.  Multiply that by 300 million Americans and then by 52 work weeks, and we’re talking about increasing the GDP by 30% this year alone. [Editor’s note: This calculation is based on guesstimates, conjecture, and good ol’ fashioned pulling stuff out of my butt. Plus, it’s quite possible I didn’t carry the 1 or misplaced a decimal or something.]

How does it work in practice?  Let’s try it out.  “ITTET, Congress is going to have to make some tough decisions,” or “ITTET, I guess I shouldn’t buy that diamond-studded dog collar.”  Works for me.

So, take it for a test drive.  See if it helps us all become more productive, and more importantly, spread the word.  It’s the least we can do, ITTET.

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