Saturday, May 31, 2008

The trick about language

Many people have noticed that a few people seem to be gifted in their ability to choose words that get the results they want.  Many people believe in magic words - words and phrases that communicate brilliantly.  Many people believe they will win a lottery.

Most people do not win the lottery - not in their entire lifetime.  Their odds of being successful with any of the language tricks taught in many different kinds of courses are slightly better.  Only slightly better.  There are no magic combinations of words; no secret spells that rely only on getting the words exactly right.

The trick about language is that it is passed from one person to another.  Words do not travel through the ether; they travel through the connection that exists between speaker and hearer (or writer and reader).  To the extent that they have a smooth, well-routed path to follow, words have amazing success in changing what people do to change the impact they have. When their road is twisting or bumpy, words are less effective.

Connection without language is often like an untraveled road: all potential.  Language without connection is a traveler without a road: lost.  Language requires a connection over which to travel.  And connection requires language in order to transform potential into results.

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