Source Code Switch

Source Code Switch

Both in popular usage and in the sociolinguistic study, the name codeswitching is sometimes used to refer to switching among dialects, styles or registers.

Code-Switching is a common phrase and an NPR Podcast.  If you’re not familiar with this phrase please YouTube Key and Peele.  It’s good stuff. 

So what is Source Code Switching?  It’s associated with advertising and it wants your money.

Matching the energy of the person you are trying to sell to is an old sales tactic as well as a social phenomenon.  I can remember during my cable sales and service days the manager advising us to listen to the tone of the voice of the customer on the phone.  Ask yourself are they sad, slow talkers, or fast thinkers and quick talkers?  Match your voice to the customers. If you talk too fast to a slow talker you will lose them, and so on.

It is also used in the gutter and pop-up ads for your personal web world.  Source Code algorithms (and other secret stuff) categorize YOU; how you speak, write, knows your economic/social level, etc, then places you in a box, and sends you unique ads.  In a sense, YOU are designing your own ad experience. Wow! What fun. The ultimate house of mirrors! Corporations do this to increase sales. Salespeople do this to get sales.  People do this with each other to be accepted. I find myself doing this with everyone in my world and I can’t stop.

Back in the day when I sold auto insurance and cable packages over the phone, but not at the same place, (that would be pretty cool) I learned how to match the energy of the person I was talking to.  The consumer feels comfortable when they hear their own verbal register used in a professional manner and may if you’re good enough, buy your product or in a customer service situation, at the very least, feel better about their purchase.  This works.


Preparing for a job interview, managing a table at a festival, being a receptionist, talking to your manager and their boss, communicating with the person who is changing your oil, WE ALL put assumptions on those folks as we approach them and change our behavior accordingly. Why?  Because we are social. Humans are social creatures.

Freud, however,  suggests everything is about sex, the accumulation, and discharge of sexual energy which is the identical experience of trying to convince a cable customer to add the Cinemax digital channel line up to their package or increase the bodily injury limits on their BMW.   Oh ya.

Today I am no longer a salesperson.  These habits, developed in my formable 30’s, continue to hover.  It’s like a little throw up in the back of the throat. I’ll notice slight changes in my body language and comfort level adjust even between friends.  I hate this. I scream to the universe, “Why can’t I be my honest self all the time in every situation? Why?” The planet does make these types of people.  People that shoot from the hip, wear their attitude on their sleeves, those superheroes that don’t blink at a high noon challenge. Those people are usually called Grandparents.  Grandparents do not give a shit what others think. They barrel through any given situation with a fuck you attitude like the wrinkled divas they are. 

 So, what’s up?

I’m not a Grandparent, How do I fix this?
I will do the most American thing I can do and rationalize my actions,  not change anything, but change my perception.

OK, here I go…
Grandpas are married to Grandmas.  Grandmas tell us to be kind and consider the feelings of others.  They are, in this argument, the feminine nurturing energy that creates, bonds and surrounds us with life-giving energy.  Grandpas are masculine, strong, protective, represents reason and logic. Translation: embrace your inner PawPaw and Oma. 

See, self-improvement is easy.



photo credit: 2013

Published by Shannon Laws

Like my writing? Want to hear me read my poetry? Please visit and download some today. Only $1.00 a poem! Shannon Laws is a Pacific Northwest poet. Her story-telling poetry has touched many hearts and minds. She is the author of four poetry books, the most recent “Fallen” published by Independent Writer’s Studio Press. Shannon has received two Mayor’s Arts Awards and the Community Champion Award for promoting local artists on community radio and encouraging peace and understanding through community poetry events. She makes her home in Bellingham, Washington, USA.

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