Posts Tagged ‘power of words’
The Power of Words

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

I wonder often how anyone could have coined the phrase

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me

when we’ve all been at the hurtful end of prejudicial words that cut deep, and sometimes leave wounds that last longer than a bruise. Especially when I have also seen words inspire and start movements. And, for me, there has been nothing more powerful than the first time I said my son’s name allowed to him moments after his birth. That kind of power is staggering…humbling.

I believe in words and the roots of words. I was the kid who looked forward to that section of the SATs where I had to match a word to its meaning by dissecting its Latin root and hoping I got it right. Maybe if I’d actually ever truly prepared for those tests, I would have even done well at them. Thing is, words, their rhythm and meanings, have always struck a chord with me.

When you pick a name for your company, brand or service, how deep are you digging to find the right name? Are you testing it out with friends and family? Are you investigating the origin of the word or words and their meanings? The people at large may not be thinking about that or even care when they hear your name, but you should. Does it resonate? Will it be timeless or timely — know why you need one, the other or both.

Think, too, about the words that you know only as “140 characters.” I think we have all heard the term “140 characters” so much that we forget the power of the words we create in a tweet. They will be gone in mere minutes, but could be read by thousands, and repeated by even more. Don’t underestimate that power, and don’t waste it. Respect your words and your potential to impact another.

There are no pictures and no video in this post for a reason. I want the words to stand alone…together, to mean something. Where have you seen the power of words used well in branding or social media?

Tags: linguistics, phonetics, power of words, semiotics
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