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Overheard at a ParentMap editorial meeting...

"I hate the term 'date night!'"

At ParentMap, we have no physical office -- our 24 or so staff work from home! -- so when our different teams meet, we meet where we please. Our sales team might commandeer a cozy corner at a local Starbucks; you'll find our digital team gesticulating wildly across the broad expanse of publisher Alayne's dining-room table. This arrangement makes us the envy of zillions of working moms everywhere (imagine!). I can update our home page, then volunteer in the school library, interview a state senator or UW professor for a feature story, and be at basketball practice by 3 p.m. I couldn't have written a better mom-working life story.

Enviable as it is, though, this work arrangement has one somewhat odd side-effect: Our meetings -- which always seem too rare -- are somewhat ... intense. Thing is, all of us 'mappers really like each other - a lot. We sometimes go a full week without seeing each other. So when we do gather, our meetings go something like this:

1. Friendship!
2. Heavy-duty discussion about Important Media Empire Business
3. Random stuff!
4. More discussion about IMEB

It was during the #3 period yesterday that our editorial team got into a typically weird, free-flowing discussion about the term "date night." Education editor Linda Morgan hates that term ("It's too cute!"). Which led us to hate the term "play date" (try using that one when your kid is 14). But try to imagine your life without those terms!

Speaking of which, I adore this year's list of "banned words," which provided a few fun "gotcha" moments at meetings yesterday ("viral?" as if!).

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