We use words every hour of everyday. But that doesn’t mean we should overlook the power they wield.
According to media expert Steve Kayser and author of The Greatest Words You’ve Never Heard, “Language is the code that translates ideas so they can be shared. But in our personal and public lives, we are inundated with empty words; words that are used incorrectly; words that are drained of all meaning; and so fail to accurately convey the intended message.”
Something as seemingly inconsequential as word choice can ruin your relationships and alter the course of your entire life, says Kayser. Here are his recommendations for how to make your words work for you:
Skip phrases such as “crystal clear.” Speaking of the ongoing crisis in the Middle East, Secretary of State John Kerry said, “I want to make this crystal clear: The president is desirous of trying to see how we can make our best efforts in order to find a way to facilitate.” Hardly a clear message. So try to avoid overused or unnecessary words. Businesses are notorious for using words that hide meaning rather than reveal it, says Kayser. “What people want is authenticity in language, to say what you mean and mean what you say.”