Words We Hate: Tickle

Tickling cat © by Sham Hardy

We’ve all got a few of those expressions in our biz we hate – to circle back, to get on the same page, to ping, etc.

Usually they do have some kind of history of their own that makes sense – either from another world, or another time of business management.

Today we’ll take a quick look at one in particular we all love to hate (perhaps because of Elmo) – “To tickle” someone.This one’s pretty simple – to tickle someone (or setup a tickler) isn’t just a PR expression, I used it back in my attorney days as well.  Which will make sense shortly.  As we use it – it’s to remind (or setup a reminder for oneself, depending on context).  Usually we use it in our biz as “We haven’t heard back from the client on that proposal, can you tickle them” because apparently remind is too harsh a word.  We remind our kids to do their chores, clients we don’t nag as much, but a tickle is OK since a tickle is nice and friendly and ellicits a laugh.

Take a lookat the Wikipedia entry on Tickler Files though, and you’ll get a sense of where they came from, and why they were so vitally important in the days before electronic calendaring and the like.

What other expressions do you hate and want to know the root of – we’ll do what we can to find out.

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