word poem: ap·​prov·​al | ap·​pro·​ba·​tion

ap·​prov·​al ə-ˈprü-vəl | ap·​pro·​ba·​tion ˌa-prə-ˈbā-shən


1 an act or instance of approving something APPROBATION


3 : an act of approving formally or officially

4: obsolete PROOF

When an agreement or a communication is certainly in its final stages, we send it to the stakeholder for approval. From here, there is a degree of loosening control when we send it to others. Regardless of what the product is, you are sending it out in the hopes that the receiving party will agree with you. That is when we must start to allow space beyond ourselves, and then we must trust that the receiving party will review on their own time.

As a writer with previous experience in archives and documentation, the definition led me to a question: why is “proof” now considered an obsolete definition of approval?

Do we no longer need proof [proof as in, something that induces certainty or establishes validity] to approve something?

No, all you need is a sign off. And that sign off does not need any proof to move forward; that sign off will become the proof. Somehow that feels both concerning and liberating to know.

We collect proof, but do we need proof?