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The other day, I described a conference call I’d been on as “interesting.”

By “interesting,” I really meant “completely whacked out that the client didn’t understand why we were doing what we were doing which was exactly what they had asked us to do.”

It struck me just how versatile a word “interesting” really is. I use it a lot in situations where I’ve really meant something or someone is:

  • Off strategy
  • Full of possibilities
  • Ugly
  • Hot
  • Boring
  • Intriguing
  • Completely unclear
  • A great solution
  • Inappropriate
  • Banal
  • Exciting
  • Pathetic
  • Interesting

I’ve also used “interesting” when really thinking:

  • “That’s exactly what you told me yesterday.”
  • “I wasn’t listening to what you just said.”
  • “Huh?”
  • “I don’t think I would have said that.”
  • “I have no idea, but maybe saying ‘interesting’ will buy me time to think of something to say.”

No way around it: “interesting” has to be one of the best multi-use words out there. Maybe it’s just behind the “F” word, which I gave up using (except for the occasional slip-up) a dozen years ago.

How about you – what’s your favorite all-purpose word?Mike Brown