Wednesday, April 4, 2007


"Sticks and Stones
may break my bones,
But words will never hurt me."

This old refrain is something parents use to help comfort their children when someone says something bad about them. But it isn't true.

The truth is that words hurt far more and have a longer lasting effect then physical hurts ever will. Words are vastly powerful. Words are what Hitler used to stir up the German people, words are what Churchill used to rally the Brits against the Nazis.

Words have been used to lift people up and also to destroy them.

Words are so important that the Founding Fathers make the First Amendment about freedom of speech, yet we still have and need libel laws and you can't yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater.

Poets, politicians and copywriters spend long hours in wordcraft, because they know just how powerful words are. The poet seeks to elicit certain emotional responses, the politician to persuade us to vote for him and copywriters to buy his stuff. Bullies use words more then violence to get their way, because it is easier and more effective. Terrorist are even using words to make make it seem like what they are doing is justified.

Many people are clueless as to what power their words have, thinking that their actions and even volume level is enough. Having control of words is a more powerful tool then any other.

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