Podium vs. Lectern

Anyone reading my book knows my personal goal to eliminate the word podium from the presentation vocabulary.  The standing lectern is often referred to as the podium by the uninitiated.  When I explain the podium is the platform, or stage, where the lectern can be found, I get a predictable response... I have been a fan of the NY Times Magazine's "On Language" column by William Safire until his death in 2009.  Linguistic anthropologist Ben Zimmer continues the great tradition of the column.  This week he clears up the use of the word podium by further confusing everyone introducing the new Olympic verb podium.

"Competitors and commentators will use podium as a verb, as in, “She can definitely podium here today.” And just as predictably, some observers will shudder at the word."

Well, if standing with the top three competitors, on the podium, doesn't make my point, then I should surrender.  Thanks to Eileen Schwarz-Duty for bringing the article to my attention early Monday morning.  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/07/magazine/07FOB-onlanguage-t.html

Now it is time to make the point a lectern is to hold papers and not people and my work will be done here...

Oh, I guess there is still some work convincing POTUS he should look at the camera (and us at home watching TV) between the teleprompter glass.

Ray Franklin

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