What is The Power of Words
Words can be a collection of sounds and shapes passed through vocal chords or pixels on a page. Some words are vessels for the complex disparities existing in the world today. Some words can cause hate, sexism, and racism. The words have power beyond the syllables when said aloud as they summon the powers and give meaning. Certain words can transform the way of thinking and can lead to expression of certain emotions, which at times are unspoken but felt. Some words could have magical spell that could earn a person trust and power. Moreover, power is the ability to influence someone’s behavior, which can be evil or unjust sometimes. Language is the most powerful tool at the disposal of mankind. When used correctly, it creates good emotional reactions; on the contrary, when used wrongly, have the power of hurting someone.
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Words have the ability to transform the behaviors of an individual. For example, most people pay attention to different phrases, depending on the biological make up or the personality traits (Yule, 24). For instance, a person with eating disorder pays particular attention to words about their body parts and body image. Depending on the community, some words are regarded as taboo and can never be mentioned. Language play a key role in the management of authenticity, guiding the connotation of the word reins the people who use it. Words may be commanding and are an intimidation to self-determination, impartiality and certainty. One key example is evident in the conspiracy theory, which played a major role in the destruction and enslavement of people. Moreover, the power of words was behind the assassination of two key personalities in the history of America, President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Another example is the presence of authoritarian administrations, which through their statements create slavery. Governments create laws and guidelines, and expect every citizen to abide by the policies without questioning the impact they will have on their lives. The development of conspiracy theory in the modern America with stigmatized ideologies and subjects prevent Americans from having an in-depth understanding of policies presented by their leaders.
The speech by Martin Luther King I Have a Dream is one of the most famous speeches. It was delivered in 1963 during the Civil Rights Movement. The demonstration stated their demands for the fairness, equality, and elimination of racial segregation in public schools and jobs. In his speech, King connected to his audience by identifying with their tribulation, which worked as a starting point ending the endemic racial discrimination. The use of metaphors in his speech also plays a key role. For instance, King repeated the phrase “one hundred years ago” and also the noun “negro”, which acted as repetitions of emotive and obscure words intended to give the speech gravity. The majority of the people that listened to his speech were African American, and hearing another black man use the same degrading word “negro” must have been important. The blacks wanted to break loose from slavery to racial freedom. Through the use of deductive reasoning, King was able to express that the black people will never be content until the end of the racial discrimination. The speech was emotional, as it aimed at ensuring that it caught the audience’s attention and the people were able to sympathize with them.
Words can be used to influence people’s attitude, beliefs and behaviors (Orwell, 73). For example, the use propaganda to spread rumors for the purpose of injuring a person has been used for over a century. With the advent of modern forms of communication, the information spread could impact huge number of people and even the entire country. Propagandas are constantly used by politicians to influence people’s attitudes. The phenomenon is evidenced from the elections commercials, where all the candidates use propaganda to market themselves. In addition, the current technology has allowed the spread of propaganda through radio, press, computer, emails and other forms of communication. For instance, centering on the negative reporting of Pakistan’s atomic accomplishments, it is apparent that a definite fraction of publicity was used to portray Pakistan as being harmful. Since the invention of nuclear technology, Pakistan has had an instrumental role, which was not communicated to the world. The aim of propaganda was to create fear towards Pakistan as an enemy rather than a friendly country that needs to be embraced. The articles emphasized the social proof that Pakistan and America had historical enmity like other countries such as Libya and Iraq (Moore et al., 19). On the other hand, the readings depicted the likelihoods of linking Pakistan to terrorism. Media uses presentation of negative information concerning the nation; people consider Pakistan a threat to the world’s peace. The process of eliminating propaganda should include considering viewpoints applicable to the framing of negative thoughts, as it allows other people to fully understand the claims. Eventually, people can draw conclusions with a clear understanding and basis for argument.
One of the famous Canadian critics Northrop said that words are effective tools for conveying cultural and societal myths, to make ideological beliefs sway people’s minds (Rubin, 142). The power of a language to establish special myths in the society ensures that the myths are passed down the next generations. For example, Barrack Obama might never have been elected to be the president if he had not repeated words such as ‘hope” and “change” throughout his speech. Through the words, he was able to hypnotize the voters to think positively about him. The mythic force behind ideology is one of the main reasons why majority of people believe that the official story released by the US government on 9/11 is the truth. It is written down in historic books to be passed down to the future generations.
Another key use of words is present in the business world. Companies and organizations use words in the key aspects of the business field such as advertising campaigns. The purpose of words in advertising campaigns is to persuade clients to choose particular products over competition. Millions of campaigns are developed globally with the aim of product positioning and branding. The advertisers use graphic, verbal and sound communication tools to construct messages and persuade the consumer (Bohannon, 3). Coining the message in a simple way can create a huge impact on the reader. The story needs to be commutated effectively by developing a central concept that focuses on the efforts on the anchor story with values intended for the presentation. A good story allows the consumers to associate with the emotional aspects presented by the message, which will impact their consumption and acceptance. A brief precise message usually generates a better response than long distorted ones. The environmental context also plays an important role in effective communication, with the choice of words to fit to the environmental context.
Words can have incredible effects on the audience depending on the interpretation. For example, at the end of the Second World War, the allies powers sent a message to Japan with demands to surrender. The Japanese sent back their response with the word “mokusatsu” which has two translations “to ignore” or “to withhold comment”. The allies powers did not understand that the Japanese meant the second option of withhold comments to give them time to make decisions. They assumed that Japan had ignored the demands for surrender. Therefore, the allies ended the war by dropping the atomic bomb which transformed the world we live in today (Stockill, 22). Hitler’s speech also is an example of the power of words. Adolf Hitler delivered a speech to a large crowd in Munich. It was an event that acted as the baseline foundation of Nazism. The speech was able to connect to the audience, persuade the central idea of strengthening Germany by controlling the Jewish citizenship.
Leaders have adopted the use of rhetoric strategies in their communication to address issues and influence their audience. The most attracting part of people’s tales and activities are ones that have a teamwork approach. Teamwork is a key element when people try to seek identity in the society. In most instances, social identity helps in founding key organizational behaviors. According to prior studies, the understanding and acceptance of any form of identity has allowed popular leaders to acquire support on the ground of shared values. The approach portrays that the success story of leaders is not on individual basis, but founded on collective responsibility. There are group of phrases that successful people never use, including, “I am the boss”; “that’s not my fault”. This is because good leadership involves taking responsibility, and not shifting blame to the subordinates. Leaders that take the responsibility earn loyalty and trust from their teams. In addition, a constant reminder to the team that you are in charge shows weaknesses of a leader.
Depending on the beliefs, the words written in the religious book such as the Bible and the Quran have impacts on the readers (Sigelman, 430). The words written define their way of life and guide their beliefs. For example, in the Bible, there are commandments that need to be followed. Failure to live by the commandments means that a person is wicked. Religious history indicates that creation of the universe was done through the power of word. In addition, the Supreme Being has the ability to destroy the world by a single word. Christians function on the belief that words can bring death. Thus, everyone will remain accountable to the words spoken while on earth.
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In most cases, the words do not create emotional reactions on their own, but in combination with other words. For example, the word abortion can have different impacts when it is expressed as a medical procedure to terminate the fetus or as a method to kill a baby. Choosing words according to their connotative meaning elevates or decreases its impacts to the intended audience.
Words have different connotations. Words, irrespective of the source, are a powerful tool in the world. The main role of words is to facilitate effective communication between different parties. The key benefits of words in the world are to pass the information, motivate, affluence pain or hurt, and even help catalyze or stop the wars. The understanding and decent use of semantic gives the supremacy to build commanding transcripts and calligraphies, which link to the beleaguered onlookers at unfathomable expressive levels. In the modern-day familiarity, the grounds of neuroscience, semantics and reasoning have publicized that cautious selection of words can induce social change.