Words Have Meaning

“Words have meaning!” I can remember it like yesterday being lectured by a Gunnery Sergeant who was an instructor at Corporal’s Course about the art of semantics. This was a professional development course that I needed to attend shortly after putting another stripe on my sleeve. We had to complete an exercise in communication and I was obviously failing miserably to be “counseled” (more like yelled at) by this Staff non-commissioned officer.

The exercise in question is where the entire squad of Marines (about a dozen individuals) lines up and starting from the beginning, one person is told a message to repeat to the Marine next to them down the line. Care is to be taken to ensure nobody else hears the message out of turn. Then the very last person tells the instructor what the message is and it is almost always skewed heavily from the original communication to the point that sometimes, the message is the exact opposite of its intended meaning. I highly recommend you try this exercise in your workplace to see the point for yourself. It can be quite humorous sometimes depending on the subject material being passed in the message.

Fast forward a couple of decades and it is something that I espouse to everybody around me that I work with when problems arise due to a lack of communication. Regardless if it is up and down the chain or laterally, lack of passing the “word” is problematic and at times, more so if the information is inaccurate. Sometimes no info is better than faulty info.

It has been sometime since I have written a column in regards to Beer Army and myself as I quit doing it many moons ago because I started to feel it came off so self-centered to me. Especially as Beer Army has grown over the years. Now I concentrate my writing to covering issues that I think are relevant or interesting in the beer world, universe or industry. However, recently I was reminded just how crucial blogging is not just to me, but how it essentially started Beer Army. 

I’ve told this story many times so it seems old hat to me but for many, this may be the first time they are hearing it. I started Beer Army with nothing more than a $20K credit card, a website and blogging about beer, how it is important to me and its impact on others. I was reminded of this fact when I recently attended the Beer Bloggers and Writers Conference in Asheville, North Carolina earlier last month. It was really great to see other individuals dedicated to the art of writing about beer and hearing their individual stories.

For most, beer blogging is nothing more than a passion or hobby on steroids. It is regulated to being a job but without the important aspect of getting paid to do it. Payment is usually being in the beer world and connecting us to others that are in that world as well. Whether it beer a fellow beer blogger, writer, brewery personnel, etc. having the opportunity to meet, talk and drink the beverage that we all love and call beer is very rewarding.

Ironically, blogging about the subject of beer has helped me meet many other great people who love beer as well and essentially, enabled me to build this great organization that we call Beer Army. So raise your pint glass and give a toast to the keyboard samurai, the computer cowboys (and girls) for continuing to do what they love and help promote this great industry that we call beer!

Poto Cervesia,

Dustin Canestorp