To serve on a committee in a day obsessed with communication, one must use the right words or he will make the tragic mistake of communicating that he has nothing to communicate.

To begin with, one should understand what committeemanship is all about. It has been said that a camel is a horse put together by a committee. Generally, when people do not know what to do about something they appoint a committee. The committee can take the problem, analyze it, theorize about it, dilute it, alter it, philosophize a bit, and then come up with a camel.

Now, there may be nothing wrong with this, for perhaps a camel is what was intended in the first place. Maybe the committee could have put together a good horse—a Trojan Horse that could unlock all sorts of gates no one really wanted unlocked, or a war steed that required firm, decisive action, or a workhorse that demanded really getting a down-to-earth job done. But perhaps none of these was really wanted; what was wanted was a camel. Camels are far more exotic; they suggest far-away and therefore interesting places, refreshing oases in romantic deserts, Arab tents in purple shadows. The committee that puts together a camel may well have done its job.

How does one function on a committee today? The basic requirement is to use correct committee terminology. A member who does not do this will find he has little to say. He certainly will not understand the other members. And when his term expires, he will be sloughed off and replaced by someone more involved and relevant.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves. The following is a guide to proper terminology for the aspiring committeemen. Words are arranged by frequency of usage and importance.

Communication. This is a must word, an absolutely ...

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