Do you misuse the word GLOBAL? Probably!

In Japan, "global" is a buzz word that people like to use. Students want to be more "global". They want to work on the "global stage" for a "global company". In English, maybe you should choose a different word.

Let's check the possibilities, but first—what does "global" mean?

of or relating to the whole world; worldwide.

The key words here are "whole" and "worldwide". There are very few, truly global companies. These are companies like Toyota and McDonald's. They are everywhere.

Probably when you say "global", you mean one of these words:

  1. international;
  2. multi-national; or
  3. cosmopolitan.

Maybe you work for an international or multi-national company (not a domestic company). "International" means between two or more countries. "Multinational" means that several countries are involved.

You are not a 'global' person.

The English Farm is international (and multinational). I am in Brazil. Most of our students are in Japan, but some are in other countries around the world (Asia, Australia, Europe). We have teachers in five countries. The company is based in New Zealand. But The English Farm is definitely not global!

If you want to do international business and you want to be comfortable using a foreign language to talk with people from abroad, you are not a global person (unless your name is "Taylor Swift" or you are a Hollywood superstar). It doesn't make sense to say that a person is "global". The word you want to use is "cosmopolitan".

familiar with and at ease in many different countries and cultures.

You could also say "worldly" or "urbane". These would be good words to use if someone asks you why you are studying English or why you travel.

I'm learning English, because I want to be more cosmopolitan. I think that in an age of global communication and co-operation, I need to be more urbane and worldly.

Can you think of any other ways that people misuse the word "global"?