You, Me, Empathy - Episode 101: Empathy in Language with Erin McKean

On Episode 101 of You, Me, Empathy, Erin McKean and I explore the opportunity for empathy in the language we use, and creating an inclusive, collaborative community around the abundance (not the scarcity) of language in Wordnik.

Wordnik founder Erin McKean talks empathy in language on episode 101 of You, Me, Empathy.

We kick off the show talking about what we can and can’t control, the unpleasant “why don’t you just” response, and Erin growing up with alcoholism in her family—which led to her being a lifelong teetotaler. We talk about raising her kid in a different framework—not having the alcoholism or religion that Erin had growing up.

Erin then shares how she had always wanted to be a dictionary editor, which led to her starting Wordnik—a beautiful online dictionary that operates out of the abundance model, empowering the community to be a part of the process. “Every word of English is worth recording,” Erin says. And Wordnik takes that to heart.

Finally, we explore how language should be used to cause the least amount of disconnect with your audience. Language is about connection, and coming together. We talk about how Erin even writes programming language by thinking of her audience first, just as a novelist would need to think of their reader first. That’s empathy! :D

If you haven’t adopted a word at Wordnik, I recommend you do! I’ve adopted empathy (duh).

Thanks to Erin for sharing her story!

Scroll down for links! Share your thoughts in the comments below! Thanks for listening, and thanks for empathizing with us!