Power of the Word!

words have power scrabble image

Words are not simply symbols, they are loaded. Loaded with meaning and intent. And I refer to both the written and spoken word. A manipulator of words has great power, masses of control

This was brought home to me today when I chose to invite salespeople into my home. They were not doorstep sellers – I can weed them out like dandelion. No, they’d scheduled an appointment and I was armed, I’d prepared. ‘Not for me thank you.’ ‘I’ll need to consider.’ ‘I don’t buy on impulse.’ ‘No!’This was brought home to me today when I chose to invite salespeople into my home. They were not doorstep sellers – I can weed them out like dandelion. No, they’d scheduled an appointment and I was armed, I’d prepared. ‘Not for me thank you.’ ‘I’ll need to consider.’ ‘I don’t buy on impulse.’ ‘No!’


However, it soon became apparent that my preparation was no match for theirs. In fact, I could almost hear myself teaching ‘the features of persuasive writing’ in the classroom. I witnessed every persuasive device being called into play to entice me into agreement with their viewpoint. Then, as they imagined, once they’d got me ‘hooked’ I’d be easy prey.


‘What persuasive devices?’ You may know of them but have not given them due consideration and certainly not categorised them as a ploy. Well, let me enlighten you.


The rhetorical questions – perhaps the most annoying as they can sometimes be quite condescending. ‘Soooo, Abigail. Do you really want to put the health of your family at risk? I found myself having to feign indignation because I was so aware of the role being played here.


Repetition. Reinforcing something that you want to stick by saying it many times. Or, simply saying it again but in a different way. Eventually, the person you’re trying to convince finds themselves completing the end of your sentences. See, they’ve got you right there. You’re even talking yourself into it.
Powerful adjectives. Or, as we labelled them in the classroom ‘Wow Words.’ When you’re selling a healthy living alternative and you mention the words ‘natural, fresh taste’ ‘rich flavours’ ‘versatile’ ‘delicious’ ‘succulent’. That’s powerful, don’t you think? (See what I did there with the rhetorical question?)


Lastly, science can literally blind you. Every bit of scientific evidence or accredited research is pulled out of the bag to support the viewpoint being put forward.
Which is why, despite feeling as though a tornado has just ripped through my cranium I still sit here in awe of ‘the word’. I should admit they very nearly had me. However, tempting as it was to take out a second mortgage in order to purchase their products the old cynic in me just got the edge there.
It’s just as well…I’d have to put a curb on my online shopping. These pop-up adverts are just so persuasive.

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