Bizspeak: Syncing in business, technology or the pool … it’s all Greek to me

Syncing is more philosophical in nature than we might have originally thought. Or is it?

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More than 60 per cent of all English words have roots in Greek or Latin. That figure tops 90 per cent in the lexicons of science and technology. But it makes sense when you think about it: many of history’s greatest thinkers — Archimedes, Pythagoras and Aristotle — were Greek.

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But words and terms coined thousands of years ago have since been co-opted, with definitions only reminiscent of their original meanings. Then consider all the rehashing and combining of terms … and it all becomes Greek to most people. Remember how in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Gus, the patriarch of the family, always tries to trace words back to their Greek origins? Turns out he wasn’t exactly wrong.

Syncing is one of those words we use every day without knowing where it comes from. It originates from synchronization, but that comes from the Greek word synkhronizein, which simply means “to occur at the same time.” Think of synchronized swimming: the whole point of that event is for swimmers to perform coordinated movements — that is, in sync.

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If you’re a Dropbox or Google Drive user, you’ve probably had your blood run cold when you see a notification that you’re out of space and content can no longer be synced. Bottom line: You always want to be synced, technologically speaking.

Syncing in business straddles the original definition and the techie term we know today. Yes, you want to be in sync with your colleagues and your superiors, to understand each other and work well together. And, of course, you want your technology to work properly, to sync your important files and create a digital safety net.

But being in sync at work really means you’re on board with where your company is going, that you’re using all the resources at your disposal to be aligned with the organization’s vision and direction. It’s more philosophical in nature than we might have originally thought. Or is it? Because you know who invented philosophy? The Greeks. Maybe this was the plan all along.


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Candice Cearley

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