Today’s Tip: Speak appropriately for your listener …. and remember to alter your language for your audience to get them engaged!
Enate, Agnate, Genealogy, proof citation, Chicago Style Manual, documentation, direct evidence, secondary evidence …….
While these words work fine when we are ‘in our element’, remember that not everyone is as crazy about genealogy as we might be (or certainly as crazy about it as I am). So take a bit of care and give a quick analysis to who is listening.
When I am speaking with a newly found cousin or a member of the younger generations, I make certain to tailor my vocabulary to my audience. I want to CAPTURE them! I want to ENTICE them! I don’t want to alienate them or scare them off!
So the first thing I do is shelve the word ‘genealogy’ and ‘genealogist’ for ‘family’ and ‘family historian’. I have found that children and many adults get turned off by the term genealogy. Or they equate it to science, rather than family. It scares many folks. Same with terms like enate and agnate, patralineal, etc.
So I make my discussion and questions much more listener friendly with more common, warm, happy terms.
Think about it. When you, yourself, think of genealogy what do you conjure up? It is a bit of a harsh word, no?
When you, yourself, say family history, isn’t it a warmer, friendlier feeling you get? I certainly do!
So as you approach that newly discovered cousin, don’t worry if they are 5th, twice-removed by marriage. Just call them ‘cousin’ to start. When you are trying to draw in a new family member or youngster to the marvels we discover, love, and enjoy so much, remember that it is family history we seek!
Meeting on the right level just might win them over!
Enjoy your day, make a call to someone and go Onward To Our Past!