Words That Denote Cooperation

By Maeve Maddox

In this post I’m going to temper the constant media barrage of negativity with words that denote cooperation and friendly relations among people who are engaged in the same activity. These are words I’d like to see used more frequently to describe what is happening in government.

collegiality noun: the cooperative relationship of colleagues.

collegial adjective: marked by camaraderie among colleagues

colleague noun: One who is associated with others in office or special employment.

cooperation noun: the action of cooperating, i.e. of working together towards the same end, purpose, or effect; joint operation

cooperative adjective: Having the quality or function of cooperating; working together or with others to the same end; of or pertaining to cooperation.

harmony noun: agreement, accord, congruity.
“in harmony” phrase: in agreement or accordance, consistent, congruous.

harmonious adjective: marked by harmony, agreement, or concord; agreeing, accordant, concordant, congruous; having the parts or elements in accord so as to form a consistent or agreeable whole.

unity noun: the quality or condition of being of one mind, feeling, opinion, purpose, or action; concord or harmony among several people, groups, institutions, states or between two or more.

united adjective: joined together by a common interest, feeling, or cause; characterized by unity, harmony, or agreement.

collaboration  noun: cooperation, especially in literary, artistic, or scientific work.  

collaborative  adjective: characterized by, based upon, or produced in collaboration; cooperative.

Here are a few recent examples of some of these words actually being used in the context of government:

We do, however, have a mandate from the people on a clear platform, and we intend to legislate that mandate. But we want to do it in a collegial and constructive way,” he said.

Unlike the 2015 session, which ended in a gridlock over the annual budget and with the House abruptly leaving three days early, this year’s session is much more harmonious, with lawmakers already passing major leadership priorities in the early weeks of the session.—Gainesville Sun.

I thank Senator DeWine (R) not only for his kind words but, again, his ongoing efforts, always with the tone of utmost collegiality when he worked with me, and his staff.—Barbara Mikulski (D).

While Cadman (R) focused on TABOR funds and improving school safety, Democrat and former Senate President Morgan Carroll struck a tone of cooperation for the few months of work ahead.

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4 Responses to “Words That Denote Cooperation”

  • Caitlin

    Good words. How about ‘concert’ too?

    I often hear ‘concerted effort’ used to incorrectly mean ‘focused’ or ‘disciplined’ effort rather than a cooperative one as it really means.

  • venqax

    @Caitlin: See the discussion of “25 idioms With Clean” from a few days ago.

  • Steve

    I’m writing a paper now with about 200 references to a “liaison” of some sort. Dangerous? No, just bureaucratic. But I cannot accept “LIASE” as a verb. I’ll over-use my jargon, but I’m not going to create new “terms of art.”

  • venqax

    It’s not new. I have seen it quite a bit in govt bureaucratese, as long ago as the 90s. All praise to you for refusing to lend it your approval. Send it to the incinerator with “surveil” and “attrit”. Supposedly the first goes back to the Vietnam era (I think survey is the proper verb for surveillance, but no confirmation of that.) I remember during the Gulf War when the Pentagon repeatedly touted its strategy to surround and “attrit” the enemy. Colin Powell was one of the worst offenders.

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