Monday, 2 March 2009

What’s in a Word? What's in a Name?

The meaning of ‘Maven’, by Carol Elliot, Training Consultant at Maven Training.

I recently read the book “The Tipping Point”, by Malcolm Gladwell. I found it both inspiring and ambitious. In reading this book I discovered the meaning of ‘Maven’. The paragraph below are quotes from Gladwell’s book.
“Mavens are really information brokers, sharing and trading what they know. They are intense gatherers of information and impressions, and so are often the first to pick up on new or nascent trends. To be a Maven is to be a teacher. But it is also, even more emphatically, to be a student. A Maven is someone who wants to solve other people’s problems. The fact that Mavens want to help, for no other reason than because they like to help, turns out to be an awfully effective way of getting someone's attention. The word Maven comes from the Yiddish and it means one who accumulates knowledge”.

Wanting to know more, I ‘googled’ the word Maven. These are my findings …..

- (noun) someone who is dazzlingly skilled in any field

- (countable) American English someone who knows a lot about a particular subject

MAVEN (also ma•vin n ) a person who has special knowledge or experience; an expert

The word (it seems) originated in United States from Yiddish
[Yiddish meyvn, from Hebrew mēbîn, active participle of hēbîn, to understand.]

Seemingly, since the word was introduced to English (with attestations going back to 1952), the world has been blessed with a multitude of mavens. Nowadays you can find a sports maven, a political maven, a public relations maven, a principle-driven policy maven; a cruise maven, a gift maven; a movie maven, a sci-fi maven, even a local historic legal maven. There is software known as File Maven, a computer buying guide (by Business Week) called Maven.

So what about a ‘training’ maven?

We now have one: Maven Training Ltd. The quality of our training materials and our history of successful pass rates allow us to class ourselves as dazzling, expert ‘training mavens’!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Carol

    Coincidentally just read this book during a 9 hour flight delay this week. Very enlightening and nice to see you are being a 'maven' and a 'salespersons' in passing the info on!

    Loved the section on Sesame street and Blues Clues. As a father I found it very interesting in the learning styles of a child as it links with the Accelerated learning principles I follow. Just don't tell my children that watching TV is educational, its difficult enough trying to get them off of it! One small challenge to the theory of repetition, if it works so well in repeating a TV programme, why do Children still ignore the word 'NO' when I repeat it 50 times????

    Regards, Darren