Naga Chokkanathan

Why Not? — Words To Filter

Posted on: May 21, 2010

Users of Microsoft Office (or Google Chrome browser) will be familiar with this feature – Whenever we make a spelling mistake (or a typo error), these applications underline that wrong word in Red color, so that we can come back and change it. Even if you don’t know the right spelling for that word, No worries, just right click there and you get word suggestions from which you can pick the right one.

Well, everyone knows about this spellchecker functionality since the stone age. What’s new?

Just like these software applications can correct our spelling, won’t it be cool if there is a filter available which removes (or corrects) all negative emotions / attitudes / show stoppers / progress blockers etc., in the Emails and letters we send?

Alexander Kuzmin, Mayor of a city in Siberia thought in this direction, and made an announcement to all his officials, ‘When you are speaking to general public who come to you for a service, You can’t / shouldn’t use certain Phrases!’

What Phrases? There are 27 in all; BBC gives a short sample:

    • I don’t know
    • It’s lunch time
    • There’s no money (Budget)
    • What am I supposed to do?
    • I’m not dealing with this
    • The working day is over
    • Somebody else has the documents

    (Image Courtesy:

Mr. Kuzmin considers these excuse words as negative energy and believes banning those words from office spaces can improve the quality of service to a large extend.

We don’t know how much Kuzmin’s Siberian experiment was / is successful, But we can take a lesson from him, and list out the words / phrases what we should avoid while writing Emails / Letters, speaking to people during professional / personal interactions, What will be your ‘Block’ list?



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