Why risk your life for impending meetings?
Archived under business communication along with 0 EnglishCoach Comments
Of course, every word has its meaning(s) and must be used correctly to communicate the intended thought, information or emotion.
Knowing the meaning of a word is not enough, but knowing when and how to use it, in addition to its meaning, completes the process.
Once my boss burst out laughing when the secretary handed him a memo. It read “The venue of the impending meeting has been changed till further notice”. He explained the meaning of the memo and we couldn’t help but laugh too.
It’s true that impend means about to happen or occur, but it doesn’t end there. We only use impend when there’s doom, negativity, danger, risk or trouble associated with the event or incident that is about to take place.
When you want to use impend the next time, be sure it’s not for a pleasant, fruitful and fun meeting. Otherwise, you could just say ‘forthcoming/upcoming meeting’.
The memo could, therefore, have read: “The venue of the forthcoming/upcoming meeting has been changed till further notice.
For impending, you could say, for instance, ‘When Sheela was driving back home late at night, she had a feeling of impending danger.’
Also, don’t use imminent to talk about a meeting that is about to take place. The word imminent has a negative connotation too, and is used to describe dangers at hand.
For example: During the Tsunami, the fishermen close to the shore were in imminent danger of being swept away.
The cost involved in using words wrongly could be irrecoverable, and caution must be taken to use the exact words to say what we really intend to say.