January 19th, 2021

Soft skills

soft (adj.) Old English softe, earlier sefte, "gentle, mild-natured; easeful, comfortable, calm, undisturbed; luxurious," from West Germanic *samfti, from Proto-Germanic *samftijaz "level, even, smooth, gentle, soft" (source also of Old Saxon safti, Old High German semfti, German sanft; and from a variant form with -ch- for -f-, Middle Dutch sachte, Dutch zacht, German sacht), from root *som- "fitting, agreeable."

skill (n.) late 12c., "power of discernment," from Old Norse skil "distinction, ability to make out, discernment, adjustment," related to skilja (v.) "to separate; discern, understand," from Proto-Germanic *skaljo- "divide, separate" (source also of Swedish skäl "reason," Danish skjel "a separation, boundary, limit," Middle Low German schillen "to differ," Middle Low German, Middle Dutch schele "separation, discrimination;" from PIE root *skel- (1) "to cut." Sense of "ability, cleverness" first recorded early 13c.

What to make of these etymological definitions?

Well, if you've hung around the workplace as long as me, not a lot.

It's all blah, f* blah.

"We need to up our game; your soft skills need improving."

As if it's like some workplace superstore or vending machine where you put in your search term or press F5 and, hey presto, out pops a suite of soft skills you can immediately ingest and then adopt to your heart's content.

I don't buy it. 

Not one little bit.

(If you could be misanthropic in the workplace, then I am it🤣🤣.)

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“Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.”
Carl Gustav Jung

My tweets

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