Find the right words

What is the point of words if you can use them to convince anyone of anything? The somewhat slippery personality of language was discovered long ago. Rhetoric was considered one of the three ancient arts of discourse and is one of the elemental factors of democracy. You must convince the crowd. Move them, inspire them, rally them. The artists of persuasion, the virtuosos of vernacular understand how the perfect word for the perfect moment can mean the difference between indifference and engagement. They understand how the words you read can break you open and reach inside. They understand how rhyme and rhythm can tickle you with delight.

In a court of law the practitioners of persuasion come armed with their word fueled weapons.  They take direct and deadly aim at the believing heart of justice and morality. Persuasion is also a currency. In the economies of selling, advertising and public relations the power of persuasion has significant value. The value is dollar-high and ethic-low. The art of persuasion and rhetoric is however, not always consciously deployed or as dramatically effective.

Whether we know it or not, persuasion is something we all practice every day. Each time we communicate with friends, family, businesses and institutions we wield the power of language. For most, however, it is not an art from, rather a blind foraging of clumsy fingers, struggling on a good day to find the right words and often unable to find any at all. Language is weapon and a tool, a comfort and a lover. We can abuse or command it, we can hone or neglect it or we can respond and yield to it.

find the right words

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One Response

  1. Words are important, and you’re right to point out that the right word can make a big difference between comprehending someone and totally missing their point . . . I like how you’ve structured this short piece, to remind us of the essence of persuasion.

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