Reflecting on/in language

My partner will quite happily tell you that I am very, very good at seeing nuance in the words that people use.  On a really bad day, I’m quite capable of turning “hello” into an existential crisis (and all before he’s had a chance to drink his tea…).

The language that we use matters.  This is one of the things that I’ve taken from the fab work that #MatExp have been doing – all those phrases and terms that we use as healthcare professionals without thinking – and the impact they have on the people hearing them.

I keep thinking about how much I’ve learnt from doing this PhD.  All the opportunities that I’ve had to talk to people that I just don’t have when I’m at work.  (And lets be honest, it’s the talking that I really love about my job).  And how much of a culture shock it’s been.

And maybe I’ve got just a little bit complacent.

Because now I’m writing up results. In formal, PhD-acceptable, academic language.  And as I’m writing, all those things that I thought I’d learnt about are flying out the window.  I find myself using words like “compliance” to talk about the decisions that families make.  I’m writing more approvingly if the families and professionals agree about issues.  I’m writing about how “difficult” it is for professionals if families dare to disagree with them…

One of the reasons that I like the e-portfolio emphasis on reflection is that it makes me write.  And as I write, it helps me think.  Hopefully, thinking will help me change what I do.

PhD writing is making me realise how much more there is to change.

Starting with an epic re-write of my current chapter… #hownottogetaPhD


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