the power of words
Posted by adiamondinsunlight on September 6, 2008
Several years ago, while on one of my many (and much loved!) visits to the Kuwaiti khala and uncle, my aunt taught me something that has stuck with me.
After I finished saying something to her one day, she leaned forward and smiled at me.
I’ve noticed something that’s important to you, she told me. You’ve used the word “authentic” several times in the past couple of days. I can tell that authenticity is important to you.
Hmmm, I thought. I guess this explains why I’ve never been a big fan of the fake handbags sold on Canal Street.
But on a deeper level, my aunt was right: authenticity is important to me. And my aunt learned this by listening carefully to the words I used over and over again – an unconscious way of articulating something I value.
The New York Times also seems to understand the importance of repetition, and yesterday it published a very useful comparison of the words that speakers at the Democratic and Republican conventions used most frequently, as an overall total and broken down by individual speaker. I found the results fascinating, and very useful – and whether you are a US voter or simply an interested world citizen, I hope you will too.
Overall word usage:
Individual speakers’ word usage:
(You can find the graphics on the Times’ site here.)