What’s in a name?

Kyeli, Megan, and I have been talking a lot about the name “The Usual Error”. It all started when Kyeli came up with a tagline: “Talking About Talking.” I said that I liked the tagline but that it was ambiguous; if we wrote “The Usual Error: Talking About Talking”, that could imply one of two things. One, it is an error to talk about talking, or two, we are in the business of talking about talking. This conversation made me so happy, because it was meta in two orthogonal ways. “Talking about talking” is nice and pleasingly meta, and also we made the usual error during the conversation. It seemed completely understandable and unambiguous to Kyeli, and at first she couldn’t understand why it seemed ambiguous to me. *big grin*

It boils down to the fact that the phrase “the usual error” is ambiguous; it either means the error of assuming that others are just like you, or it means the work that Kyeli and I do of teaching others about the usual error and other communication issues. We try to capitalize consistently, using lowercase for the error and caps for the business, but that’s not distinguishing enough. So we came up with a brilliant idea: the Usual Error Project. From now on, our project of helping people improve their communication skills is called the Usual Error Project. Making the assumption that others are just like you is called the usual error.

And then there was another big name conversation. We talked about all the big plans we have for workshops we want to give and information we want to share, and a lot of it is not related to communication. Some of it is related to fixing the world, some of it is about relationships (but not communication per se), and some of it is about business. It’s not all about the usual error; it’s not even all about communication, so the name “Usual Error Project” didn’t feel like a big enough umbrella to put it all under. But you know what it is all about? It’s all about envisioning a world full of connection with self and others. Connection Paradigm!

Now we finally know what to do with connectionparadigm.net. We’ll make it our new online home. Each of our big projects can have its own smaller place, like usualerror.com, and Connection Paradigm can be the umbrella that ties them all together. connectionparadigm.net will be big enough for all the things we want to do! Megan is busy redesigning both sites as we speak, because now that we’re planning on inviting tons of people over to our homes, we want the place to look nice. (:

Oh! And there was a whole other rename discussion that I forgot to post about! We talked about the title “The Usual Error” being negative, focusing on the error rather than the desired goal. We tried rephrasing it more positively, and thinking about things like “What is communication like when you don’t make the usual error?” We came up with lots of ideas, like “Authentic Communication” and “Awesome Communication”, but they’re not as catchy and already taken in one way or another. So we decided to stick with “The Usual Error” as the title of the book and the workshops. It’s intriguing and eye-catching, moreso than anything else we could come up with. (:

Feel clear and confident about your direction in life!


Do you wish you could follow your heart, but it seems impossible? I can help you find the clarity and courage you need.

In other words, I can help you find your path.