Phrase Faux Pas: Blender-cum-strainer

Blender – cum – strainer ... Like a cocktail shaker.

A cocktail shaker?    I read this statement, thrice.

My first thought – Avenue Q, “the internet is for porn,” except this was a start up in the knowledge / content space.  

Language, words to be exact, are integral to your brand, market and customer.  What happens when someone reads a statement like the one above?

                                           Strainer …

Are you giggling? Grossed out? Was your first instinct to slam the little X at the top corner and vow to never, ever read that again?  Are you worried that you inadvertently landed someplace NSFW?

I thought the usage a malapropism for come, as if the product was a blender that iterated into a strainer, or approached the function of a strainer.  

As we hone in our ability to produce, user experience and brand identity increase in importance.  Honest feedback in today’s market is critical to success.  

I shot a quick note to the author. 

How would your organization respond?  Are you defensive?  Do you argue the validity of the feedback?  Do you ignore it?   Offer platitudes and throw the message in the trash?

Even if that feedback includes four letter words that would make your gram blush, someone felt so strongly about a circumstance or product that they sent you a message.  

The author replied in a combination of the above response reactions.  I never knew, nor would I have every used cum as short for cumulative, except perhaps in an academic presentation focused on math.  

But even then I image a few knowing smiles. 

Read all your feedback, for as long as you can.  And if you can’t read it all, incorporate random sampling.  Even better, focus on the bottom of the barrel.  It’s easy to slip into complete validation of your product or service.  We surround ourselves with like-minded folks.  Add in a little argument and dissension avoidance, and we arrive at counterproductive development.

Question your assumptions, your customer base, your solution.   Solve the optimal problem.