Collaborate vs. collaborate

Richard Branson

Thomas L. Friedman in the New York Times makes an interesting point about the power of language. He shares two definitions of the word 'collaborate'.

1. to work, one with another; cooperate, as on a literary work: "They collaborated on a novel."


2. to cooperate, usually willingly, with an enemy nation, especially with an enemy occupying ones country: "He collaborated with the Nazis during World War II."


In business we work together with other business people to create projects we can be proud of. There are times where collaboration is not appropriate in business if it interfers with healthy competition. But generally, collaboration is overwhelmingly seen as positive by everyone involved.


In politics, collaboration is often seen as a negative. Politicians should start collaborating more with their rival parties to rebuild their countries. They shouldn't be viewed as 'collaborators' for doing so, but praised for working together to achieve progress.


Head over to the New York Times to read Mr Friedmans whole article on collaboration.

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