Friday, August 21, 2015

THE POWER OF LANGUAGE

"Don't get upset by what he said.  They're only words." 


 Does this statement, or any close variation of it sound familiar to you?  How many of you embrace it as your own philosophy?  How many of you would like to give the speaker a nice, firm sock in the arm?  Well, I am going to start the year in our first blog by making a bold statement (I know, seniors, big surprise, right?)  Here it goes:  Whether you acknowledge it to be true or not, your words have power.  Lots of it.  You may not feel very powerful when you utter them, but they are, as the great English proverb tells us, "Mightier than the sword."

Now, allow me to explain and expand.  For some, the words of others don't sting as much as they will for others, but whether you are tough as nails or a marshmallow when it comes to matters of the heart, those to whom you communicate may not fall into your same category.  For this reason, being a thoughtful, empathetic, yet clear communicator is a precious skill--especially for those of you who plan to be in any form of upper management.  The best leaders in any industry got there because they knew how to communicate.  They were aware of the great power of their words, and they used that power with skill and wisdom.

If not everyone receives the same words in the same spirit, than how do we become astute at the great art of communication?  Well, the answer is in the question:  it is an art, so we practice.  We test the waters.  Observe more than just verbal communication/language.  We communicate who we are to others in many different ways and within many unique nuances.  Reading people --really taking the time and presence of mind to actively listen to not just what they say but how they say it--can really tell you a lot.

In year one and year two of the IB Language and Literature, Diploma Program, we will be doing a lot of communicating with one another in various groups and partnerships, as well as all together on our blog.  You will have many opportunities to observe and learn from each other's communication style, and practice wielding your language "sword."  The spoken and written word both have their moment on the world's stage, and whether their influence is felt on a small or large scale, it is a moment that carries power for the listener: a moment in the ears can lead to a lifetime on the heart.  In his novel The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfus writes: "Words can light fires in the minds of men; words can wring tears from the hardest hearts."  See?  I'm not the only literary person to make those bold statements.

In the link below, you will have the opportunity to read Cat Thompson's article, The Power of Language.    Read through it, maybe even commit some of it to memory as a resource to use when you communicate.  See what happens!

You are powerful.  Whether written or spoken, your words carry the power to build someone up and bring life, or tear them down and bring death.

Just like that mighty sword the English were talking about.

https://experiencelife.com/article/the-power-of-language/


Just for fun....

The idea that language has great power is nothing new!  Even though our modern society is much more sensitized and defensive in nature (we seem to have lost the art to debate and replaced it with the great art of mudslinging in the public arena), in ancient times and during the Renaissance, the power of our language was acknowledged.  Here are a few famous quotes, including those collected from Proverbs in the Bible and the great bard, Shakespeare, himself:


96 comments:

  1. Trinity B. and I had an interesting conversation about the first sentence in the article- 'What if every word you uttered came true instantly? What if you were required to follow through on everything you said? How would your language change? Would even be able to talk at all?'. Her first inclination was that she wouldn't be able to speak, because she's too sarcastic. Then we started musing about what would happen if we did speak. There would be some great aspects to life. You could be whatever you wanted to be with a single word- I could be 5'6". However, the world would be a constantly shifting, unstable place. It would constantly change. Within a minute the world could be round, flat, or square depending on who spoke. Not to mention as children make silly errors ("I want our house to be made of chocolate") life would become as such. In a life where everything you said came true, it would indeed be better if our tongues were made of glass.

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  2. I thought the article was very interesting mostly because it gave off the impression it was teaching me how to manipulate people using language. I felt as if I was reading an instruction manual on how to get my friends and family to do what I want and get what I want out of them. Many times it made the connection that words have power which made me think of how any conversation is a clash between powers. This is not necessarily a bad thing as these powers can end in beauty. Mr. Hiatt also gave us the idea that every conversation revolves around someone trying to get something out of someone else which I always thought was interesting. Even when I greet someone and ask how they are, it could be seen as me draining information from them to expand my knowledge; even though this is never the case and an extreme example, when you think about it it makes sense. However, when it comes to language and communication, even these "extreme" examples aren't necessarily extreme. Countless ruthless dictators and warlords have climbed their way to positions of power without lifting a finger, but instead using their carefully plucked words to seduce an entire nation to follow their lead as they take their nation into war and genocide and even kill off their own civilians. I don't know what you think about this, Mrs. Caraway. But I find it very interesting.

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    1. That awkward moment when I'm on the wrong account...

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    2. I think I agree. It makes me marvel at how powerful words in the right hands can be. So many times I hear people say, "What can I do? I'm just one person." Well, just one person (Hitler) was responsible for both the rise and fall of Germany in the 30's and 40s. He is arguably one of the most influential individuals in the century. I agree wholeheartedly with your observations.

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  3. I love how the quotes you chose captured language in its true light, but also challenged it. The Bible is the perfect example of how the tongue is so leniently accepted. Where even in the Bible, God says that you must control you tongue. But anyways, it is incredibly true how the language we use can either build soemone up or tear someone down. I know from the point of view of being a victim and a person who has done it. Words are dangerous weapons in the war of life. You can either help the homeland or kill the enemy. I love how even in the article the author was talking about how even if we say certain words it sends off different messages or if we say the same words it can be taken in so many ways. Language is a crazy thing. Some people almost need a license to use it.

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    1. Ha! Very true. Like any weapon, language can be used for good to keep peace or for evil. It really is a great metaphor.

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  4. While reading the article I had a couple of key points stick out to me. One of the key points that stuck out to me was when Cat Thompson said “the more words you use to say something, the less power those words have.” It then when on explaining how the difference between a twelve word sentence is less powerful than a five word sentence. I agree with this statement because choosing your words carefully will have people more intrigued to what you have to say instead of someone who is always talking with filler words.

    Another key point that stood out to me was the phrase I’ll try. I agree when the article said that this will tell the listener that you are giving yourself permission to fail. For example if you play a sport and the coach tells you to fix something that you keep doing wrong and you answer with “I’ll try” it will come off as I’m not going to give it too much effort, whatever happens happens.

    I liked how in the paragraph of manipulation and coercion it gave the scenario of someone needing help and how they used words to manipulate someone into making them offer their help even though they may be resentful. This just shows how words are powerful in our everyday lives.

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    1. I love how you structured your response. :) Your first point about the more words used the less power--that really struck with me, too. It is true in so many realms, particularly advertising but also political campaigns. Fewer, more carefully chosen words are memorable.

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  5. After reading the question, one popped out to me, “what if you were required to follow through on everything you said”? This question had me sparked a funny memory. I was walking with a friend and he explained to me something him and his buddies did, for example if they say they are going to walk around in their football tights after the game the guys will hold him accountable with a little punch in an unpleasant area. I guess having to follow through with everything you say might be painful.
    Also, the “I want” statement really stood out to me. I like that it states that we are more distance from the things we desire. All of the “I” statements are very interesting because as people who use language to talk we tend to through around the “I” statements.
    Lastly I love the quote from Robert Tennyson Stevens “Language is our fundamental software”. It is a way in which I understand how language works. In a software there are multiple connections used to work as a whole. That is how langue is, multiple words to create a thought.

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    1. Yes! And I also agree on the I want statement. That really stood out to me, and has forced me to rethink how I state something or even think about something that I want. It is helpful when goal setting, for sure.

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  6. What a fascinating choice of article, Mrs. Caraway! Entering the second year of this course, I am already quite familiar with the concept that my words have power. I have written numerous essays founded upon the concept of power delivered by the word, and I agree entirely with the statements made concerning the power of words being so immense that, to paraphrase a particular statement, they may cut as a sword. There is, unfortunately, one key difference between the sword and the word. A cut from a sword happens only in the moment, and will overwhelmingly often be encountered in a situation where it is expected and some mitigation has been prepared. The word, spoken from a careless, malicious, or faithless tongue, may inflict its terrible wound every moment of a person's life. It may come suddenly and without any mitigation whatsoever. The fortunate part of this power is that words can also be put to use to mend wounds and restore trust. It may take 7 positive remarks to counter a single negative remark, but if we are seven times more inclined to good than evil, hope yet remains. I can recall many instances in which I offered a less than sincere acceptance of a task, typically via the use of very low modality. Due to my natural affinity for the written word, and my excellent education concerning its effectual use, I have an immense variety of complex phrases and sophisticated vocabulary which I may employ to obfuscate my genuine purpose in communicating. However, one topic that this article brought to my active attention was the necessity and usefulness of direct and sharp communication. As I have grown older, this desire to cloud every critical idea in a mask of formality and ambiguity has become more and more desirable. Yet, as I am now fully aware of, I can employ my power much more effectively through direct and clear communication at the most critical of times. In token of this acceptance, I will take a moment to speak clearly to you, Mrs. Caraway. I am honoured to be your student. I am eager to discover additional truths and techniques throughout the year.

    Sincerely,
    Duncan Robinson

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    1. I love what you have pointed out from this article, but mostly I just love how you said it. You really have a gift with words, and you are extremely articulate. I love also that you pulled out the direct communication angle. I tend to be "flowery" with my language--especially written--so it forces me to think more about what my true purpose is in communication before I write or speak.
      I, likewise, am honored to be your teacher, and I am so happy to hear you are eager for the year! :)

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  7. What I really liked about the article specifically was “The Power of I”. It is so easy and feels way more comfortable to speak negatively. I feel like I rarely have positive conversations with someone about the way they feel or look. We look for gratification in others when we speak to them. Our language, our words almost always talk down about ourselves because we need that constant assurance. I agree that we need to use language in a positive manner. I am personally guilty of the “Manipulation and Coercion” part. Its so easy to use words to make others feel bad for you, easy to have a pity party. Everyone is so sensitive and easily offended that people get scared to say what they want. Instead of “Do you want to go to dinner friday?” it’s “You got plans friday?” because then they say that they do you don’t feel as bad about yourself. We’ve changed from the “say what you mean and mean what you say” to “I’ll say whatever makes people have some emotion towards me, preferably pity.” Being a happy and positive person is taboo nowadays and personally I believe it is caused from the change in how we use language.

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    1. I really like your last remark, about how being happy is a taboo. I don't know if it is really the happiness that is a taboo, but the naivete that we perceive accompanies the happiness. As if putting a positive spin on something, means you don't understand the state of the world. We seem to view life as a chance to complain (myself included) rather than a chance to rejoice.

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    2. I find this very revealing and honest. It explains a lot, too. I appreciate your being candid. :) I can assure you that this is pretty true of older generations, too, though not as blatant because we learn to "hide" behind fake positives. I especially find your last sentence thought provoking. Thanks for sharing this observation, and Gabrielle, I also appreciated your response! Could be a very valid point about naivete. People are usually on to us when we are seeking that pity/encouragement! You both noticed it, so it would stand to reason that others do in the moment, too.
      We aren't as subtle as we think! ;)

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    3. I also meant to add (but hit publish too soon) that how sad it is that we perceive happy/upbeat people as just naive rather than seeing them as the enlightened ones. Seriously, I want to know the secrets of those who can find joy, even in adversity, right? :) It's perhaps a good challenge to give to ourselves to look for silver linings in our perception and communication.

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  8. I really really liked this article. Definitely a great choice for the first one. Just the title itself was intriguing enough. I personally would not be able to talk at all if language was this literal. I'm extremely sarcastic and most of the time I don't follow the proper rules of English. I enjoyed the end how it shortened and outlines the rules of how to say things in a way that makes it better. Instead of just stating something, also say how it makes you feel and why along with the statement. Also, there's the keeping it to yourself, just using I, instead of you. I do that a lot and I'll have to work on it. (Sorry for the late response I just got home from work haha)

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    1. Hayley, you are perfect on timing, as you still have a week on this blog. :) I am very glad that you liked this choice. Even with sarcasm, good to know that certain words distance us from our goals and things we wish to attain in life, and words like "I" really are definitive and powerful.

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  9. The article makes wonderful points about how the way you speak influences so many aspects of life. I know that I'm guilty of manipulating other people with my words and also of being vague. It's hard to have a filter sometimes when what I'm thinking just wants to be said and I don't want to take the time to adjust my language. I'm also sarcastic much of the time which can hurt people even if I don't intend for it to. Another thing that caught my attention was the phrase "I'll try" because while it can tell the person that you won't give it much effort, it can also say that you don't believe in your own abilities. The article was interesting overall, and the rules at the bottom are a good start to working on my own language.

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  10. This article makes two points that stood far out to me. Those being, the fuel we use to put together our choice of words, and the power of "I".
    Like the article works to point out, I also believe too often we do not realize how powerful or power-less our words can be. Too often our words are out of habit or convenience, which I would say is normal because we are humans and tend to lead fast paced lives where we don't always reflect on our choice of words. Although, I feel if we reflected more often on the words we speak and how we speak them, we could come to a mind blowing realization of how a 5 word sentence can have the same, of not a bigger impact, as a 12 word sentence. That being said, the power we actually hold over our language is overwhelming. Like Jessica pointed out, we could turn situations that appear negative around the shell into positive moments with just the way we speak of them, and again, how.
    Following up the power of "I", as language speakers I think we take that word for granted or use it wrong. Okay, maybe not wrong, but we could use the power of it in better forms. When you start a sentence or statement with "I", you immediately identify whatever you are saying with your individual, and I think we need to watch more often our "I" sentences.

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  12. Language is very important in my life and while reading this it saddened me in the way I use language. While reading I came across an eye opening statement, “because words are so often used automatically and unconsciously, we have learned to treat them lightly. In daily conversation, we speak the major our words from habit, convenience and social obligation rather than from clear intent”.
    We live in a time where many things are evolving and so is our language. Technology evolves rapidly and we are mesmerized by the capacity of what one little device can do. Language is evolving but not the way we would like too; little by little our language is becoming slang. Why would this be? Well because now we want everything to be quick; we want to get to places quicker, get errands done quickly, and for this to be done the length of our conversations needs to be kept at a minimum. This is a weird thing to say but many people take languages for granted and instead of building our vocabulary. Sadly, I am one of those people. I'm setting a goal for myself to try and expand my vocabulary.

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  13. We know language is power and this article just serves as a reminder more than anything. However there where specific points that stood out more than others. Directly from the article:
    "Whether or not we realize it, we are constantly using language to evolve our ideas and beliefs into concrete reality. By becoming more aware of the impact and power of language, we can make more conscious, insightful choices about how we express ourselves and how we interpret others."

    "Interpret others" is interesting, because it's something we don't always notice. I don't just notice i'm always trying to interpret people not only in the literal sense, but also the language sense it was an interesting article to review what i know and to think more about what i learned berfore

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  14. I knew that words were powerful, but I only looked at phrases as being powerful. Not individual words, like 'I'. I've never thought how one single word can make such an impact on someone or something. Or how if you add another word to 'I', the sentence that is about to be uttered is even more powerful than the individual word itself. I've also never noticed how if we fear we will be rejected or afraid of what someone will say or think, we change the wording we use. Our minds automatically change the way we say something out of fear or rejection because our brain understands how powerful words and language is.

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  15. This article was very interesting, and a good review article from last year on how language has power. I like how the article explained the "do's and don'ts" of speaking. One section of the article that really stood out to me was keeping your sentences and statements short to have more power in those words. I never thought about that before, but now that I realize it if I'm listening to someone explain their opinion, a shorter answer would make me believe that person is more knowledgable in their field, as they don't have to explain it very much. I also agree with how ambivalence can make your listener not believe you are putting one-hundred percent into something. When I read that I thought of Yoda saying "Do or do not, there is no try" in Star Wars. Overall this article got me thinking about the way I think, and I will be using these tips and tricks in the future with my own language.

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  16. Ah, yes and now we return to the first unit of the year explaining how language is so powerful. It's as good in literature as it is in life. We must be careful and if not mindful with how we use our language. Simple words can break people around us or build them up. The article had great examples of power words and I really enjoyed seeing how they could break down the word "I" and commanding words. Sentences without question marks and direct commands can make a person either listen or shut down.

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  17. I love this article! It explains the power of words in such a simple way that it actually made me question every single thing I have ever said before reading this. I wish I had read this years ago, now I am going to be extremely conscious of the words I use and also how I use them.

    I tend to use a lot of facial expressions when speaking with people and so when I am angry, everyone knows. But when I am about to explode, I seem to come off as eerily calm. Weird I know. But still true. I believe that even though I am about to explode my brain gets a little spark telling me that I need to watch what I say (I used to have no filter at all unfortunately). I believe that as I got older, I started realizing that just because I was angry, I didn't have to bring others down. What I have ended up doing instead is carefully plot a well thought out argument or statement to tell the person who was angering me so that they would be shocked by my boldness, impressed by my vocabulary (which only seems to get bigger with anger), and in awe by my calmness. This is not only really fun but it works too. A lot of the time, people often realize the power of words when someone is able to "one up" them and they don't have anything to top that. Sadly, many don't know how to use words for their benefit in power.

    Like I said previously, this article is great and I will definitely be memorizing the "I" power phrases. The article is just more fuel for my brain. Thanks Mrs. Caraway! (:

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    1. I think facial expressions and gestures only help to clarify and enrich verbal language. They tell the tone behind the words. :) It is really good that you have that voice to help you filter and think before you speak. We tend to get better at that with age, but not universally. ;)
      You are welcome!

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  18. I want to say I am guilty of a lot of these phrases in the article because the way they are used almost seems devious. However, guilty is probably not what I should feel if I already have these powerful language skills. I often use manipulation in my language to get people to do things for me. I use "I'll try" a lot with my dad when he asks me to do something. I know I have to respond to what he is asking me but by saying "I'll try" I also know that I don't necessarily have to do it because I never said I would. These instances are what make the powerful language seem devious.Powerful language is also a good thing. Like mentioned above, powerful language helps in management and when establishing legitimacy of authority.

    I have not see this work in every instance. In high school student counsel elections it doesn't matter what you say in your speech if people are only going to vote based on popularity. This even happened in out presidential elections. People do not listen and educate themselves on the power they are choosing. For powerful language to have an effect, powerful reception is required.

    I also want to add that I love the quote "If only our tongues were made of glass, how much more careful we would be when we speak." This is true when we think of language being powerful to our feelings. We not only need to be more careful of how we speak of others but we need to remember to "I" phrases when we speak about ourselves.

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  19. So many great gems in your post! Especially loved your comment on the importance of listening and educating yourself before you elect a new leader. This quote captured me: "People do not listen and educate themselves on the power they are choosing. For powerful language to have an effect, powerful reception is required." Wow. Very poignant.
    We not only have power with the words we speak, but also with how we listen...

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  20. I feel this article really hit the nail on the head about how subtly manipulative language can be. The delivery was innocuous enough, but there was a lot more to think about than just what was written. It's very interesting how all of us use language for nearly everything that we do, day in and day out, but we never stop and think about how powerful the little things are. The article mentioned how using the word "I" can change how the speaker and the listener perceive a message, which I found fascinating. Little quirks like that can often have huge impacts, like the difference between getting the job and getting a "we'll let you know". It's fascinating, but also pretty scary. The other thing you brought up that I found interesting was the old phrases that mention the power of language. It seems our ancestors had an even better understanding of how powerful words were, which makes sense for that time. Most conversation was given face-to-face, and it was easy to judge the impact of language immediately. Now, with technology like videos and social media, it's easy to hide behind our words and deny them their power. All-in-all, I think it was excellent food for thought.

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    1. You raise an excellent point here. Texting and email can be so easily misperceived. They don't allow us to see the non-verbals or hear the tone behind the message. That is almost like a sword wielded blindly!

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  21. I really enjoyed this article. Its very over whelming for me to think about just how much of an impact words have on people in general. I liked how in this article it broke down every day phrases and pointed out how those phrases had certain effects on not only ourselves but the people around us. Sometimes I never really realize just how powerful the words I say can be. I loved when the article said “the fuel we use to empower our desires, and to direct and align our energy. Language has immense power, and its impact depends entirely on how we wield it”. The way you phrase a sentence can show a lot, it can affect your energy. I always try to not say negative things about myself like I cant instead of I can, because what you say puts you in your state of mind. That is also why I’m really careful about what I say to others. Because like we learned last year, words can either help someone or really hurt them

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  22. This comment is from Ashley Solomon: "If everything I mumbled became true, life would be very interesting (to say the least). The article was very thought provoking and made me think about my everyday dialect. The thinking happened particularly the Manipulation and Coercion section. When the author said she needed help in her studio, and instead of directly asking for help she asked what the friend was doing over the weekend then presented the question. Its almost as if we prepare a soft bed for what ever response we get and whether its good or bad will depend on your presentation. Upon reflection, I noticed that we all do this. Today My friends were talking about going to Sun splash, but each person was presented with "Hey, are you busy this weekend?". I wonder what would happen if we all became more upfront with what we wanted. Would we be degraded as being needy? or praised for knowing exactly what we want?"

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  23. This comment is from Mikayla Hinton: "I never thought that the word "I" was very powerful, but it is. But the words that are spoken after "I" makes the phrase even more powerful. The words that I use everyday are not as simple as they are perceived. Such as the phrase "I want". I love what the article says "we set ourselves up to forever pine for something we accept as out of reach." It is so true when we want something we just accept it as out of reach and either go towards it or give up and move on. This article really has showed me that my words, even the simplest of words, have tremendous impact on others. I don't pay enough attention to the words I am using when responding to other people and I should because of the power every word has. Also I wanted to say that I loved this article, it really was eye opening on our language and how we use it in this generation."

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  24. This comment is from Hannah Green: "I enjoyed reading this article. It gave a sense of empowerment in my speech of rather knowing what I want or am asking versus questioning it.I wasn't aware of how people saw you when you worded statements They way you word or phrase something has such an amazing impact, giving different impression and interpretations to certain people. Who knew that "I chose" and "I want" give a sort of authoritative figure.From now on I will be more cautious in the way I present myself with speech. Am I meaning to have a strong opinion or a questioning response?"

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  25. This comment is from Sabrina Williamson: "This article, makes many great points about changing our language to better empower us and get our points across. It also made a wonderful point about choosing your words. The article did not discuss, however, choosing more general words we use to describe people, places, or even words we normally use to speak to each other. I know we have all heard it before “Be kind with your words, they can hurt people.” We fail to realize however, how true it is. Language, like we discussed in class, is the way we communicate our thoughts, emotions, and desires. We all know that which is why when someone tells you how they are feeling we know they actually (unless they are lying, acting, or being sarcastic) feel. We interpret what they say as truth in other words. This is why word choice is so important just like the article aimed to show. The word we use to describe or talk to people are interpreted as our actual inner thoughts and feelings by those around us. When we use sad to describe our emotion, people think we are serious and act around us accordingly. However, too often in our society we use words such as: love, sad, angry, fat, and many other words too often without realizing the effects it has on those around us. When we say words too often, they lose their deeper meaning and eventually becoming meaningless. Take “love” for example. We say, “I love her,” “I love that burrito,” and “I love my dog.” Obviously these are not the same types of love, but if we claim to love all these things and say it often then it makes those around us wonder, how sincere is their love? Or even wonder if when you say, “I love you” it means anything. We shouldn’t use words out of context or when we don’t mean them. It only weakens the power of our words. One last point about word choice. We as humans are relational beings. We love relationships and we love being loved. How do we receive love? In many different ways, but the most common being words! We put a direct link between a person’s actual thought and feelings and what they say to us. This link plus our relational nature makes our happiness in a sense based off of what people say about us. This happens whether we think it or not or even if we shouldn’t let it affect us. This just shows how much we need to be careful with our words. If a person’s happiness in a way relies on what we say about them and how we talk to them, then we should be much kinder with our words and choose ones that empower instead of disown. You don’t have to praise that person, but at least make them feel as though they belong and are cared for. Not only will it make your day better knowing you might have made their day, but it made them feel better as well."

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  26. The main thing that stuck out to me in the article was the vagueness of language. As much as I agree that now a days, especially due to our advanced way of communication through technology, I feel that it more shows how much we have evolved with language. Such as the example "I'll try" from the article, it shows a complete analysis of a simple statement. I believe this also comes from being able to express with a few words thanks to technology. Back when you had the little flip phones where you have to tap a number to find the letter, and they charged you per character, you didn't type "Be home for dinner by 7 o'clock." you would write "Dinner @ 7" It still conveyed the same message, just had an alternative way of doing it. Today, I believe "text talk" is a language. I feel it's slowly becoming a little more obsolete (At least, I've been texting in full sentences lately!) but it's was still a way we talked to each other. There was even a pop culture movement about the use of "text talk" as a language. Such as the commercial where the little girl says "IDK my BFF Jill" or the book TTYL. (Yes, that's a thing. It's a book that is told through instant messaging) Language evolves as well evolve. Who knows, maybe our grandchildren will be able to communicate by touch screen patterns or some sort mind reading head band.

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  27. When I speak I tend to abuse words more then use them the way the are supposed to be used if that makes any sense. I always misuse them and i get an entirely different meaning then intended. This leads to the other person either getting really confused or just mad because my comment came out mean. I also tend to be really vague and then find myself unable to explain what happened even an hour earlier. My way of talking is so jumbled that I can't get my words right, and these articles remind me of that. And i also know that it hurts when you hear how someone else feels about you when its negative, and its really hard to shake that feeling off if you really liked that person as a friend...

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  28. I didn't really realize the affect my words had on others until recently. I became a very negative person and brought people down with my words more then lifting them up. I thought that no matter what I said I could just say sorry and everything would be okay, but thats not the case. Words stick with people. Also being at a low point I realize that some people are very sensitive and you never know what people are going through which may make them even more sensitive. I think its important to be reminded how much of an impact the words we speak have on others and even ourselves. This article reminded me how much of an affect the words I use also have a huge impact on my life and my decisions. This article brought many things I never thought about to like how using less words can be more powerful than a bunch of them. It was an interesting article and gave me a lot to think about.

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  29. This post is from Oliver: ""It is interesting to think about the impact that our words have on people every day. If you think about it, how many times a day is something said to you that affects you in a positive or negative way? How many times do we hear something that really stands out to us? To me at least, this i s fairly often. Now think about how many times a day we say things to other people. Maybe we say some of those things that affect their day or even week. We really have to be careful with the way we use our words, but if we use them correctly, then we have great power at our at the tips of our fingers.

    Another interesting to think about, is how many times a day we hear something, but we don't actually think about what we have heard or been told. I am guilty of this quite often. Especially when I am busy. If I am driving, or doing homework, or just zoning out watching TV, I hear people telling me things, and i may respond, but i do not even register what they are saying, and I often offend people because they think i am not listening. It actually makes me very sad when I do this, I feel bad! I have let numerous people down and made them feel unimportant to me when that is not at all my intention. I have also missed important information about something that I was supposed to do, or that i needed to know. I often zone out like this. Recently, I have caught myself doing this right after it happens or even during. I want to stop doing this. It is a personal goal that I have set for myself."

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  30. This post is from Grace Lyons: "This article made me realize and understand the power behind the words that are used to follow other words. For example, "I can" versus "I think I can". While these statements are very similar, they are also very different. Depending on what is said, you can manipulate someone or guilt them into doing something they never wanted to do in the first place, such as getting them to pay for something as simple as a soda. While it seems unimportant at the time, it can add up, and pretty soon you can get people to pay for your gas just as easily. It's all based off of how you phrase what you need. You can use them to blow people off by saying "Maybe" or "We'll see". These phrases will give someone false hope that you might actually do what they are asking. Overall, I have learned that words have far more power than people realize."

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  31. This post is from Julie Granados: "I believe that words cannot hurt you physically that is. A word will not throw a punch at you or slap you in the face. No word can ever cause physical damage to you, unless a book is thrown at you, but that is not the point. I I do believe that words can hurt you mentally. It takes 3 positive words to erase the damage the work of that one mean word that you have said. The power words is really strong these days. A hurtful comment on social media, or straight in our faces they can hurt a lot. They can psychologically damage you as well, if someone is being told these rude words on a daily basis then it will become harder for them to become happy or just show that emotion in general. I feel like the message of this weeks blog post was the power of words can hurt you never in a physical way but in a way we can’t process, so we all have to think before we speak and think to ourselves is that hurtful comment really necessary? Do we really have to bring others below us with our damaging remarks?"

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  32. This post is from Jeremy Jones: "I found this article extremely interesting and I could relate to it in many ways. The "Power of I" idea is something I find myself doing a lot. I always avoid using "I" so if I'm wrong, its not my fault. I really need to try to stop avoiding "I" and be confident but its become natural. Now, manipulation is something I don't do because I despise it. When someone tries to manipulate me by guilt tripping me I can sense it right away. I get irritated, if they would have asked me directly I would help them but using manipulation discourages me from helping them. Using the "I'll try" is another thing I'm guilty of. Same as avoiding "I", I am afraid of failure. "Verbal Runoff" is something I do every now and then but I am working on being more concise! Overall the article was very intriguing, especially since I could relate so well!"

    Thanks,
    Jeremy Jones

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  33. This post is from Gabe Thelin: "Language, or more specifically, words have a very profound impact on ourselves and the people around us. I was unaware of how many different forms or meanings words and phrases had. The section on Manipulation and Coercion especially caught my attention because of how often it's used. Now that I'm aware of it I realize just how many different ways we can approach a question, comment, or statement depending on what our intentions or goals are. I agree with the part that says, "using language to manipulate is costly in terms of energy". The more vague or discrete you are will take more words and more sentences it will take to get what you want or it may even give off the wrong impression. On the other hand being too direct may come across as rude or too forward.

    This section goes to show how many different approaches there are to language and how we communicate to each other. There are many different ways to say the same thing just in a different format in order to create a different tone. The way we use our words can provide different routes to the same statement in order to make it kinder or suggest different things in order to help persuade others. The way we use our words has a very powerful impact and can change the outcome of our conversations or interactions."

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  34. This post is from Gabi Roe: "I really like the part from the article talking about the positives and negatives that a person uses when using "I'. For example, "I'll try" I find that I'll try allows you to show you have not given up. All though it also leaves room for failure, but using the words "I'll try" allows you to attempt but may fail. I also realized when talking people often say "you" but mean "I". I catch myself doing this all the time. This article showed me that "I" is much more power than what we use it as."

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  35. This post is from Jeidy Rodriguez: "I thought the article was very interesting. Something that stood out to me while reading was vagueness and ambivalence section. The part that stood out to me from that section was the “I’ll try”. I agreed completely when the article continued to talk about that. I agreed because you are telling the person listening that you are going giving yourself permission to fail. For example, If you had plans to go to dinner with your friends and then last minute something came up that you rather do, you tell your friends that you will try to show up but actually you are just setting up yourself to fail because you know you aren’t going to try.
    Another thing that stood out to me was in the section, Manipulation and coercion. The part that stood out was “If we are afraid our idea or request will be rejected, we may use language that is confusing and indirect.” I also agreed with the author on what she was saying, one because i totally related to it, i have done this to avoid getting rejected. Second, because we don’t want to be rejected we just go around the question instead of just saying what you are truly trying so ask."

    Jeidy Rodriguez

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  36. This post is from Kyra Parry: "This article was really interesting to me. It made me think about language in a new perspective and allowed me to reflect on how I use it. I don’t yet think of myself as a strong communicator because I do almost all of the things it says not to. I like how Cat Thompson explains her arguments in the article because it is direct and easy to comprehend, just as she says language should be spoken. The part about manipulation really stuck with me because I have never thought of it that way before. I do this sometimes because I don’t want to appear too needy or pushy. I feel that if the person offers to do the action I’m wanting them to, then it’ll come across as them doing a nice gesture or actually wanting to do it, therefore I won’t feel bad for asking directly. However, the more I think about it, it doesn’t seem needy or pushy unless the person feels pressure to do it. They can still kindly reject and it won’t be a big deal.
    Stepping away from the article, the quote, “if only our tongues were made of glass how much more careful we would be when we speak” was nicely phrased. Language is much more complicated than one would think. Words spoken can really hurt you or really lift you up, so I agree that we have to be careful of what we say around people. Some people, including myself at times, will speak without thinking first and then regret what we say later. This article and these quotes have made me think about how I use language and how I can become a better communicator."

    Kyra Parry

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  37. This post is from Isaac Lewis: "The first statement in the article made me think about what i say everyday and how it would shape my life in more ways than one. I was surprised how close and accurate this article was. Words do have power and I understand that more than i did before. It was a great article and look forward to reading more. "

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  38. My least favorite word in the English language is "sure". I hate getting it as a response, and I avoid using it myself at all costs. For awhile, I thought it was just one of my "pet peeves", but after reading this article it gives me great relief that this peeve has a name. "Vagueness and Ambivalence" is the term from the article of those words with so little conviction that they crawl into your brain and make doubt. It makes you wonder, "do they really feel that way, or are they lying to make me feel better?". With such weak language, I can never tell. The article also really made me contemplate manipulation. Speaking from personal experience, I find it quite easy to twist my words and manipulate anyone I feel deserves it. However, before this article, I never really thought about how the other person took this into account. Maybe if I just said, "Can you help me?", they really would because they're my friend. But if they answer with "sure", I think I might just resort back to language manipulation.

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  39. I never truly realized how much power the word “I” can affect yourself and your self conscious. From reading the article, it made me feel motivated, powerful, and strong. What I liked most about the article was “I have, I choose, I love, I enjoy, I can, I will”. The way you display yourself in front of others through communication will show how positive and/or negative you are. Do you say “I think I can” or “I can and I will”? This made me want to change how I display myself towards others. People should speak positively and powerfully. I should speak positively and powerfully. Rather than protecting myself and saying “I want or I have”, I’ll show the world how strong and confident I feel. What really hit me was also the part “I’ll try”. I say that to so many people. “I’ll try to complete all my homework, I’ll try to make it, etc”. I even said it yesterday to one of my friends. I agree that saying that is a way of giving yourself permission to fail because whenever I say that I’ll try, I usually never succeed. If you told yourself you would achieve your goal, there’s more of a chance that you will. You just have to put yourself out there and prove everyone who didn’t believe in you wrong. This article was very interesting and inspirational - and I will never put myself down because of it.

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    1. That is a truly rich realization you have come to here! It can make a huge impact on your future success, too. I totally agree--"try" is a poisonous word to some people (myself included) because it softens commitment. Excellent--this is a mature realization!

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  40. This article really made me reflect on how vague my answers can be. I usually answer questions with a "meh" or "ok" and leave the answer up for interpretation. This article isn't very inspirational to me because I usually am not afraid to say what I am thinking or tell the truth. For example if someone I'd rather not talk to asks to hang out I will usually just say "how about we not?" just to tell them how I feel or act and then be done with it.

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  41. I thought this article was very interesting. I really connected with the section on vagueness and ambivalence in our language use. I find myself saying "I'll try" all too often. I never really thought much about how using this phrase can make people think about you and how it can even affect what you think of yourself. That was very interesting to me. I found the part about trying to use "I choose" or "I have" helpful, too. It's interesting how your own word choice can affect the way yourself and others look at you. That was very eye opening and not something that I thought of too much before reading this article. I definitely want to try to put what I learned from the article to use because I feel like it would help me become more self-motivated and that's something that I have trouble with.

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  42. This blog and article reminded me of a quote by Stephen R. Covey, "Most people don't listen with the intent to understand. They listen with the intent to reply". I feel as if this article was explaining how to get passed that. I agree that language is power. However, I know that I don't always use that power to its full potential. Emotions are a barrier that can almost always get in the way of language. When I don't want to hurt someone's feelings, I will commit half-heartedly by saying "I'll try" or "Maybe". Never will I say that I couldn't or don't want to do what they asked of me. It's almost as if saying "no" has become taboo. Of course, I am only hurting the other person more when I half-commit, but ended up bailing in the end. The article called me out on that. It also proved the power of saying nothing at all. We live in fear of awkwardness. Therefore, when there is any silence, we automatically peg it as being awkward, and say something. In reality, the silence could have been fine to the other person. Now, you are just speaking to say something, and I don't believe that's very powerful. We should speak with purpose and meaning. If we don't, then we will lose something very important to us: the value of language. I understand now that I am going to have to make a change in the way I speak to retrieve that meaning. To be honest, living in a world where language becomes an endless routine does not seem to yield much power.

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    1. You make an excellent point here about emotions being a barrier to clear communication. Which is probably why it continues to be a big challenge.

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  43. I know it’s a bit cheesy, but this article brought to mind a quote from a Nickelodeon cartoon, Fairly Odd Parents: “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words leave psychological wounds that never heal.” A bit dramatic for a kid’s show, but Timmy’s dad makes a very valid point, one that is further proven in this article. Sometimes, I think I can make the mistake of using words and phrases as their connotative meaning to people who don’t necessarily see them that way, and I end up (inadvertently) hurting them. We (especially your year two kinds) know by now that our words hold infinite power. I think now, more than ever, we need to teach ourselves how to control that power. This article helps a lot with this, especially towards the end; giving us the guidelines to control our tongues. Making sure our words have a purpose and making sure we, the users, know what that purpose is.

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    1. Wow, not cheesy at all! Timmy's dad is spot on. And you know, maybe kids need to hear this sort of validation of their hurt. It is more powerful and compassionate to acknowledge hurt than to try to deflect it. Good analysis!

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  44. I really enjoyed the article, and for me the first statement "the power of speaking intentionally versus the potentially destructive force of careless speech." really stood out to me, mainly because it's very relatable, and I can think of many instances where someone may have used careless speech to convey a point and instead hurt someone's feelings. One example is just being in a heated 2 sided conversation where you must choose your words carefully, and if you were to stop thinking about your word choice you could say something that you would regret, and that could really hurt other's feelings, sometimes even without you noticing it. Just that statement can make a lot of people understand that they need to take into consideration what they are going to be saying before actually talking at times.

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  45. While reading this article, my first thought was oh my gosh, this is so true! What really stood out to me personally was the "Manipulation and Coercion". The first part of this section was when it said that when people have ideas and they are feared they will be shot down by others, the use words that could make things unclear and try to almost trick people into agreeing. I totally agree with this. I have watched this be done so many time, and im not going to lie, I have done it a few times myself. Now, another part that really hit home for me was the "I'll Try". I realized that I really dont like this way of telling someone that im going to do my best to make something happen. Now many of you might think, well isnt that the same thing as trying, to me, no. Saying that "ill try" shows that there is room for failure, that there is a 50% possibility that its not going to work, but by choosing "Im going to do my best" means that there is little to no room for failure, because doing my best means doing it right, and to its full extent. Lastly, I keep going back to the thought of what if everything we said came true, I keep thinking how much this would change the way we speak. We could no longer say things like "well poop" or "Well im stupid", it would completly change our culture, and generations of change. After reading this article, I have a new outlook on language, and I want (not have!) to fix mine!

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    1. Love this. Yes--I particularly love your analysis of the word "I'll try." I have to agree with Yoda: "There is no try there is only do or not." More people should realize this. :)

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  46. This article was very meaningful and gave me a new perspective of how I choose to communicate my language. It made me reflect on how I use the word "I" when communicating with others. "When we feel less powerful or fear that our power will create conflict, we tend to water down our words, either by avoiding “I,” by saying “I don’t know” or “I am not sure,” or by following “I” with other ambivalent, unclear statements." This quote was the most powerful to me due to the fact that I find myself not using I in my sentences because I fear the responsibility of my own words and knowing that the statement can be very meaningful to someone yet it is not to me. The quote ensured me that I need to be more direct and concise when I speak. The article was extremely helpful in making me analyze the way I use language and I genuinely enjoyed reading it.

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    1. How honest and interesting that you say you fear the responsibility of your own words! Very poignant. Everyone should. I am impressed that you recognize that this can be that wall between ourselves and success. Great analysis!

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  47. Reading through this article, I do realize how words can be so Impactful. Just using the words "I want" can have a different meaning to our brain than we believe to be. It mentally puts our brain into thinking of all the reasons why we don't have that object. I found that highly interesting. I did not fully understand the word "Want" until after reading this, I definitely think I will be changing that word in my vocabulary.
    Reading the manipulation part of the article, it had never really struck me as it was manipulation. I was thinking that it was just a different way to be nice and asking for help, if that were to be the situation. I do agree with this article, looking at the big picture, us humans do get caught up in what we think of ourselves and that we let words pour out of mouths without exactly knowing the meaning behind it. The most powerful quote that was in the article, to me was, "Instead, directly express how you feel about your current reality (sad, scared, hopeless), and then declare what you choose be and do instead." I found that that was the most powerful quote because it is true to what I believe. If I kept saying that I was going to fail a test, I will start to begin to be scared and not work towards it because I already made my mind up. Instead I could say, "I am scared for the test, but I am going to study and work hard for my grade." I believe words and actions go hand in hand, you say what you will do, then do it and visa versa. This article did open my eyes in how language is being used today. I definitely will be more conscious of what I say and how I feel. This was very interesting!

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    1. So true!! Words come from the most powerful center of our body: the mind. We suggest things to the rest of our body and our own mind out loud, that can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Better to prophesy great things, right?

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  48. Growing up, I was always told that my words were powerful. But I never really thought about how replacing certain words can give off a completely different message. I totally relate to using "I'll try" to lower others expectations. However, when I use those word, I find that I lower expectations of myself. If someone requests a favor from me and I reply "I'll try!" or "Yeah, I can do that whenever I'm not busy", I will never get it done because it's not a priority. Something I need to work on. It leads right into keeping my word, so others can trust me.

    Another thing that stood out was always being positive. It is draining to be around someone who cannot be positive. It's just as hard, however, to be positive when everyone around you is being negative. It would just be great if everyone was always positive. Hopefully, whenever I'm positive it will rub off on others and vice versa.

    I think I will refer back to the article often. I mean, "I WILL refer back to the article often." ;) It has extremely valuable information that will help me and others realize the power of words. Thanks for sharing!

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  49. Great article to start of the new school year! All I can say is WOW! This article really made me think, “How many times have I made someone upset or confused by the vagueness of my words?”. One of my favorite subtopics in this article is “Vagueness and Ambivalence”. I am guilty of being very indefinite in my texting because I am afraid to overcommit myself. A quote from the article that I will take into consideration is, If you find yourself speaking with vague and general language, take a moment to ask yourself how you can get your message across simply, directly and with conviction.” I feel that if I start implementing this tip into my daily vocabulary, my writing will be much more exciting and interesting. Not watching what we say could possibly causes damage to a person’s view of life and of one’s self. The wrong use of words really shows us how fragile and delicate we truly are. We need to start by not succumbing to negative comments, and start setting up a good verbal environment. We all need to learn and start to practice empathy, because words do hurt. I really enjoyed reading, and commenting on this article. Definitely will be using these tips in the near future!

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  50. This article caught my attention the most out of the majority of previous articles. As a person who doesn't usually think about what or how to say things, it made me realize how sometimes I can hurt someone. I tend to say things without a filter, especially with "I". When I say "I'll Try" usually tends to make me feel as if I can do it but I'd rather not, kind of with how I am with homework. As for when I say "I Will", and "I am" it gives some sort of confidence and a boost to actually do it and to be more empowered.

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    1. Absolutely! Not only do our own words have power over others, but also so much over ourselves!

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  51. This article made many very true and very memory bound statements. I think mainly these stay with you because everyone can relate to the power of words. Everyone at some point in there has heard powerful words. Even though we sometimes may not be able to think of examples of powerful words off the top of our heads we can all identify these words when we hear them. This may be why was so easy for someone like Hitler to come to power; people are so easily strayed by a pretty tongue. This also may lead us to believe e that those who master these words can invoke or yield their own power. How many phrases have stuck with us from powerfully worded men? Thanks for sharing with us a different view of the power of words!

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    1. SO true..we may not be able to think of examples, but we know them when we see them. You are right! I know your mom has a deep appreciation of profound and meaningful quotes...it is always interesting to see how many years they stick and still inspire, even long after their speaker is gone.

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  52. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  53. I've heard people say words have power numerous times and know that it is very true. I know my words have power and even in that knowledge I still may not be careful enough with how I use them. I found this post to be very insightful as now, looking back, I catch myself a lot of the times doing some of things it talks about in the article. I don't usually like to leave clear and concise answers for some odd reason. Instead of being certain or completely honest about what I say I'll say things like "kind of", "possibly", "sure", etc. Maybe I can use what I've learned here and try to improve on how I communicate with others, think about the effect my words may have on them before I say something.

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    1. Excellent spot on self-analysis AND I love your conclusion! Applying and trying what we learn--that is the goal of any course. See what happens!

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  54. I thought this article was very interesting and allowed me to reflect on my own use of words. I like to think that I am the type of person that when I say something, I mean it. I usually wait to join in a debate or heated conversation until I know my opinion is sure, and sound. This article also made me think about the power of words in politics, the techniques used, and how they effect their audiences. Such as, when the article mentioned how shorter sentences are more powerful than long drawn out ones. Usually no one remembers the long statement, that although may be true and to the point, they remember the quick, short rebuttal which usually ends up stealing the debate. I also liked the bit about the power of silence, I think I will try to use that one a little more in my life. (By the way, totally did not mean to write this at the very last moment. I remembered as I was driving to work earlier. At least I got to think about what I wanted to write the whole time I was working!)

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    1. Great application to politics--and VERY timely right now! And, hey, you got it done within the time frame. That's the important thing!

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  55. I connected strongly with the "Manipulation" portion of the article. I am definitely the person to ask "What are you doing" instead of just coming out and asking a question. I also loved "The Power of I". If you start a sentence with I everything else that comes out of your mouth is going to be what defines you. I sometimes am generally not very careful with words and reading this article I have become more aware of my communication techniques.

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  56. This article has made me stop and really think about how often these phrases are used and what affect they have on someone's life. When constructing a sentence using "I", it's always beneficial for the reader to understand the tone you set. This can result in an error of communication between the speaker and the listener. With that said, the difference between a power statement and a red flag could be defined by the difference in the strength of the words. In the article, it gives the example of "I think I can" versus "I know I can", and by using stronger words, it enhances your conversation piece. By wording a sentence in a specific manner, it can be deemed manipulative and allows the individual to have less responsibility for their actions. The difference between a meaningful statement and a cram packed sentence is the reduced amount of fillers used when verbalizing your opinion. I found that all of the information that was provided can help an individual as a learning tool to better understand what is trying to be communicated to one another.

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    1. I love how you phrased the difference between a meaningful statement and "cram-packed sentence." VERY true, and excellent analysis. We fill things up with words when we are 1. unsure or 2. lying. ;) This is, of course, exaggerated, but in many cases, it is true. A very well-worded blog response overall. Thank you!

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  57. This was a great article I felt that I could really connect with it and it brought back some old childhood memories. It reminded me of this time when I was younger and this girl called me ugly. My dad had told me "sticks and stones may break my bones but words may never hurt me". Reading this article really made me realize how much parents would lie to there kids in order to protect them but not realizing that they are wrong.

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    1. I remember to this day hurtful things said to me on the playgrounds of youth. It is powerful, and in many cases, hurts longer than a stick and stone put together.

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    2. I just looked at your time stamp here...nicely done! Right under the wire! ;)

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  58. This post is from Daniel Pasquale: This article has really opened my eyes to the kind of power that words have. Just by using simple phrases, we can really pack a lot more power into your sentences and words that you use on a daily basis. This really makes me think about what kind of words that I use, and I have come to the conclusion that I don't do a lot of these things, but some of them I do. For example, the "Verbal Runoff" section is something that I struggle with. For some reason I always find myself talking and talking and talking until I can't anymore, when I could have stopped a while ago. I have had previous suspicions that I do this, but this just sort of confirmed it. Speech is something that I pride myself on, and it's something that I try to improve every single day. However, not one single time have I ever stopped to think about how much power my words can have. Words can definitely be very hurtful, but at the same time that can be counteracted with upbringing words, and that's very amazing. Now that I have read this, I can make improvements to my language and writing, but at the same time become a more powerful individual.

    Thank you,
    Daniel Pasquale :)

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  59. This post is from Oscar Denogean: This article explores some of the many realms of literature. It explains the power of words, it goes into how someone can manipulate another for their own purpose using words in a certain structure, and even talks about how someone can get out of something by giving an uncertain answer with specific words. I have always been aware of the power of words which is why I have always chose my words and the way that I choose to use them so carefully. It seems that people are not aware of the power that the words that escape their lips hold, which is why they use them so ignorantly. I found the section “Manipulation and Coercion” quite interesting because it is unreal how true it is. While going through that passage I was going through all the conversations that I had over the past week and noticed how often people used literature to manipulate someone else without them even knowing. It seems to have become a habit because I too am guilty of doing this. “Vagueness and Ambivalence” was another section that I enjoyed to read. Personally, I have always disliked when people would use the word “sure” or the phrase “I guess” because of how I see them. I see those words being used when someone is uncertain of something and that is something that I have always hated. That section explains how certain words can mean something different to everyone, which made me feel relieved because most people seem to see “sure” and “I guess” as “yes” and I don’t see it that way. I enjoyed the whole article, it was unique, it was eye opening, and informative. It makes one look over how they use language in their daily lives and to be more aware of what they say and how they say it. Overall, it was a fascinating article.

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  60. This post is from Daniela Gonzalez: I definitely agree with the beginning statement and the power of language itself. Communication is what ties us all together, verbally or not. The language and style in which we communicate allows us to be more diverse as well as really express ourselves and feelings to one another. I find myself communicating with different people in extremely different ways depending on who they are. After reading Cat Thompson's article, I realized how important my communication methods really are and how to get the real point across to the listener. As a really sensitive and shy person, I have a harder time really speaking my mind and expressing how I truly feel to many individuals in fear of the words they are going to throw back at me. But without true communication, I'm not supporting my thoughts, feelings, or actions. The language and communication techniques we use manifest the world and people around us, as we are putting these feelings and thoughts we have into the reality in which we live.

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  61. This post is from Alyssa Robinson: "There were a couple of points in this article that really stood out to me. Number one being that our words have power even if we realize it or not. Not everyone thinks about the impact they have on people when they talk to them, whether it be good or bad. Even if it's as simple as saying hi to someone in the hallway, you don't know how you affect them. They could have had a really bad day, and you could have cheered them up by just acknowledging them. Another point is where you said that other people's comments don't effect everyone the same. For example, say someone called me ugly. Personally, I wouldn't be offended because I know the words they're speaking are not true and don't effect me. However, if someone were to call another person ugly who is very insecure, it would take a long time for them to recover from that. I think it's very important to think about what you're going to say before you speak it. Our words are the most powerful thing we have, and it's important to control that power. Like the cliche saying "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all." "

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  62. This post is from Lizette Ramos: This was very interesting article. When I opened the article, I immediately read the questions and answered them. If every word I have ever said instantly came true, well, life for me would be very different. If I was required to follow through with everything I said, well a lot would be different. My language would change drastically. I regret a lot of things I've said, because I said them out of hurt or when my mindset was just not in the right place. The words we say are very powerful, just like the word I. I is a powerful word,

    "Words and phrases mean different things to different people. Depending on our own filters and circumstances, we may hear any of these words as eager, open, resentful or downright hostile, and in fact their intent can vary enormously from speaker to speaker." I agree with Cat Thompson. Every person has their own opinions and views on what they read or what is said to them. Someone might say something and the way that they said it could have come off as rude. But really, they didn't mean for it to come out rude and upset someone.

    Looking forward, I am going to change the way I speak, or come across to people.

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  63. This post is from Erin Hood: When I was reading this article a couple things came to mind, such as how my answers in classes are much different and at a much higher level than my answers on homework. Also, how talking to my friends I use a lot more slang than I do when I talk to my parents or teachers. This article made me think more about how my words have power and how I use them is very important. It made me realize that I really do think about what i'm going to say and how I am going to use my words, I just don’t realize I actually do. But altogether this article was very interesting and really made me think more about myself and how I speak.


    Thank you,
    Erin Hood

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  64. This post is from Hunter Cuison: "Not going to lie, these articles really hit home with me. I remember being picked on back in greade school and always feeling bad about it. I aslo remember going home to tell my mom about what happeneed and she would always say that Words are only worlds, that they can't hurt you if you don't give them any power. That lesson is something that I still carry with me to this day. That's why that quote that Mrs. Caraway put in the begining of her Blog entry made me reflect on my own life. For instance, if you tell that one girl in the halls who you see feeling insecure everyday then you just make her life 1,000,000 times better than it was. And I guess that leads me to my point. Negative words have power, a lot of power. You what, though? Positive words have power too. Yeah. Words hurt. But telling someone that you have their back can mean the world to them.. So, be sure to watch what you say..."

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  65. That awkward moment when you lose track about what day it is...

    I (oh yes, its starting with a defining statement about who I am) have always considered myself a fairly straightforward person. Frankly, you can ask anyone, and they will tell you the same thing about me. Trust me, I did, back when we did the Scarlet Letter project. Apparently my "flaw" would have been being TOO straightforward. But that is not a flaw, so moving on. Being the way I am, has its advantages. For starters, I generally, really do mean what I say. (unless I'm joking) The problem is that sometimes the things I mean to say, come out just plain mean. That comes from a lack of a filter,because my goal is always to get the truth out of my mouth as fast and efficiently as possible. At times, it can leave its casualties. I know that is something that I must force myself to work on. Because I know what I say affects others, because what others say affect me. I do my best, and have gotten better. But the words coming out of my mouth still manage to get me in trouble sometimes. Luckily the same kinds of words coming out of my mouth have allowed me to make friends, and be loved. Possible "flaw" and all.

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  66. Well, for every person trying to work on becoming more straightforward, there has to be someone also working on not coming across too harsh. The important thing is the working part. Recognizing that we don't intend our words to hurt is the best and brightest thing. I can relate personally to your efforts from the other side. When I was younger (I still struggle with this to a degree, but years of working on it have made me better) I used to live to please others. I kept a lot of my own feelings and words inside for fear of others being displeased. That's not good, either. It is a fine balance of power, to be sure, but it is also such a gift to have a voice and use it. :)

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  67. When I was little, my mother would tell me, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me." But the thing is, words really can hurt. Words may not pierce the skin or make one bleed, but they can make one's heart, soul, or mentality weep. Speech can bring about devastation and pain, or cause one to lose all hope and faith in life. Alternatively, speech can heal the deepest of cuts, bring one up from the darkest depths of despair, mend a broken soul, or rouse a nation towards a cause. Hence why silence is madness, an eternity of walking alone without reprieve. Some may say that the pen is mightier than the sword, but the power of speech carries more force than a nuclear bomb. That is why we must be so diligent and careful to use this power responsibly, as a tool to either to ravage of revive.

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  68. This post is from Maria: While reading this article I thought, “Wow, words really are powerful.” I never really considered or appreciated just how powerful language is. Mostly I thought of language as something we use to communicate or express ideas and feelings, but this article made me realize it is also the way we use it that makes it so powerful. “The power of I” made me realize that the word “I” can change the impression you leave on people. It makes you more confident and courageous with the way you speak and depict your ideas. This idea can help with everyday life and even in the future for college and careers. Overall, I thought this article gives helpful advice on using better language and understanding the powerful meaning it can have.

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  69. This post is from Keaton: I realise how words have power over our emotions. Words are powerful motivators. As an example, the words of my friends during a workout (when I did work out). I may be struggling and thinking I won’t be able to finish. The words of encouragement given to me fell like a boost of energy so to speak and I find that I can do more than I thought. Words can make us tell the difference between what we think we can do and what we can do (they are much different). What we think we can do is limited by our thoughts and doubts. The powerful language of encouragement opens the gate to our full potential of what we can do. The same can be said though for the opposite. Language can bring us down and make us think we can do even less that before. Either is can bring us higher or pull us lower depending on what we decide to listen too.

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