Ask in the meeting
1 min read

Ask in the meeting

If you hear something you don't know and you don't ask what it means in that moment, you've done yourself and everyone else a disservice.
Ask in the meeting

What does PM stand for? Product Manager? Project Manager? Purchasing Manager? Nope. Post Meridiem.

This morning my son asked me, "Papa, what does PM mean?" He must have heard it in the book he was listening to.

I said it means "in the evening." But then I decided to be more specific so I said:

"When someone says 6pm they mean 6 in the evening. Same with 1pm. That's because it means 'after noon'. It literally stands for 'post meridian' and meridian means the noon hour."

After looking it up I realized it's actually pronounced "meridiem" which makes sense, "diem" is Latin for day. So post meridiem literally means "after midday."

By asking me what PM means, my son forced me to articulate something I was pretty sure I knew. I took Latin in high school. I got the gist right but the specifics were wrong.

If you're in a meeting, or in a PR, or in Slack and you hear (or read) something you're not sure about and you don't ask in that moment, you've done yourself and everyone involved a disservice.

It's a disservice because you prevented a moment of clarity, a moment of alignment, a moment where everyone understands exactly what was meant.

In case you were curious, AM is for "ante meridiem" which is "before midday."

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