Why Choosing the Right Words Matters

by John Soares on March 5, 2012

As writers we always seek the best way to say something, the best words to convey our meaning and trigger a response in our readers. It could be a lead for an article, it could be a title of a blog post, or it could be a headline on a sales page.

This video really touched me, and it illustrates so beautifully the power of the words we choose. Please watch. It’s less than 2 minutes…

Your Take

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    { 27 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Cathy Miller March 5, 2012 at 7:24 AM

    Twitter: @millercathy

    Hi John: I’ve seen this video before and love it. It’s a great visual for the power of words. A great lesson in business and in life. Thanks for sharing it, John.
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    2 John Soares March 5, 2012 at 8:07 AM

    Yes, it works both ways Cathy: it shows us the importance of the right phrase, and it shows us the importance or acknowledging the beauty in the world (which includes kindness).
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    3 Leslie March 5, 2012 at 7:43 AM

    Twitter: @lesliemillernow

    Whoa — this really touched me. As a writer, because it does illustrate the power of words. But also as a sighted person who has spent many days still not “seeing” the beautiful day… very powerful message.
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    4 John Soares March 5, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    It is a very powerful message Leslie. The seeing the “beautiful day” part is something I strive for every day, although I often fall short of that goal. For me it’s akin to the Zen present-mind awareness concept.
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    5 Leslie March 5, 2012 at 8:18 AM

    Twitter: @lesliemillernow

    I read a lot of freelance writer advice blogs, but what I’m enjoying about yours is that self-aware, personal development slant… without that, the rest is just window dressing, isn’t it? I started my blog just to chronicle the building of my writing career, and have a consistent body of work in case clients check me out online, but I find it’s taken off in the direction of my personal inner journey more and more, and combining the two is my sweet spot.
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    6 John Soares March 5, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    Thanks for your kind words Leslie. And I think it’s important to be who you are on your blog — it makes you more real and authentic.
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    7 Gambolin' Man March 5, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    A great way to start my day, John! I love these little powerful messages that can transform how we see the world, how we relate and interact with people, how we influence our mind and spirit. Did you see that one thing going around (related to “seeing the world” even though blind) about two guys in a hospital, one always staring out and describing the beauty to be seen outside his window, while the other was too sick too notice. Then one day the guy was gone – he had died. The survivor in the next bed asked the nurse about him and told her how he had kept up his spirit by describing such beauty outside his window. The nurse said, he was blind – there is nothing out that window but a wall.
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    8 John Soares March 5, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Glad you liked the video Tom. I haven’t seen the other vid you’re talking about, but I’ll look for it later.
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    9 Anne Wayman March 5, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    Twitter: @annewayman

    Thanks so much John, I get tears every time I see this and I hadn’t for awhile… and yes, it’s a great reminder for us writers. ;)
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    10 John Soares March 5, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    I don’t know how long the video has been around. I first saw it Saturday evening after a friend shared it on Facebook; I decided to bump the post I had planned for today to run this instead.
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    11 Sharon Hurley Hall March 5, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Twitter: @shurleyhall

    Wow – that brought tears to my eyes. It’s a very powerful video. Thanks for sharing this, John.

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    12 John Soares March 5, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    It is very powerful. I love videos like this that are short, well done, and make a powerful point.
    John Soares recently posted…Why I Updated My Freelance Writer Resume

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    13 craig March 5, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    Twitter: @Howls_Cheers

    Yeap, that is a great video. Even for someone who doesn’t value their words has got to see that there is indeed in words a value.

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    14 Wade Finnegan March 5, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    Twitter: @qualitywriting

    I viewed this video quite sometime ago, and it still strikes deep. Words are power and it is important not to underestimate that power. Thanks John for sharing and reminding us.

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    15 John Soares March 6, 2012 at 8:25 AM

    Words can be used for good purposes or bad purposes. Here they are obviously used for good, but I think about many of the effective advertising slogans that convince people to buy things that are bad for their health or bad for their wallets.
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    16 Gene Burnett March 6, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    This post reminded me of your other post about perfectionism and when to stop tweaking and say “It’s done!” I realize that this is a time when more and more people are caring less and less about words and language. In fact many words are being replaced by acronyms. LOL, OMG, BFF, U, R, LMAO, and whatever else texters have come up with. For some people the only two words they have to describe anything is “cool” and “sucks”. But for me, finding the right words is a must. It is why I write. The joy of finding the right words to match my thoughts and feelings is one of the things that make life worth living for me. I proof read literally everything I write. Facebook posts, emails, blog posts, whatever. I very rarely use nothing but lower case letters and I never hit “send” without reading what I’ve written. I don’t think I’ve written anything in several years that I haven’t re-written parts of before posting or sending. Sometimes it takes me 15 minutes to answer a simple question in an email, but I don’t care. I want to say it in the best way I can and that takes time. Still time is not unlimited…so sometimes I have to give up when it’s more or less good enough. To me the “right words” are not the ones that elicit the response I want or please other people the most. For me the right words are the ones that please me and make me feel like, “YES! This is what I mean.”

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    17 John Soares March 6, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    For effective communication we must consider the words we choose. I also proofread every e-mail, every blog comment, every Facebook post, every tweet.

    I am forgiving of people who don’t need to write well for their jobs or businesses. Just communicating is itself important, and that includes a LMAO or smiley face. I confess that I “like” a lot of posts on Facebook, often because I don’t want to take the time to write an actual comment with more substance.
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    18 Ray Anderson March 6, 2012 at 5:42 AM

    Twitter: @ray_anderson

    Very powerful.

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    19 Stephanie Hoffman March 6, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    This video is beautiful on so many different levels; I particularly liked how the woman took the time to make such a difference in the man’s life. Thank you so much for posting this one!

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    20 John Soares March 6, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    That’s another important message of the video. Often we can make a large impact on somebody’s life by just giving a few minutes of our time. But how often do we actually do it?
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    21 Shannon March 8, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    I love the video. Thank you for sharing. This is very good.

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    22 Craig March 13, 2012 at 7:38 AM

    Twitter: @Howls_Cheers

    Gene,
    Maybe people are using more acronyms but I don’t know if I would agree with you that people are caring less and less about the English Language.

    I seriously think that in the coming generations the internet will be where amazing new writers got their start.

    These talented writers will be just one of the many new facets of the information revolution.

    And I really do look forward to the day that these new writers start to pop up.

    Words Do Matter And The RIGHT Words Matter Even More.

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    23 Gene Burnett March 13, 2012 at 9:18 AM

    I hope you’re right Craig…I don’t see much evidence of that yet…not among the majority anyway…we will see….GB

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    24 waterpearls March 24, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    Hi John,
    Its a very inspirational video.The words ‘its a beautiful day and I cant see it’ are very catchy.This video gives good lesson to choose right word.

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    25 Sara April 18, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    That video actually gave me goose bumps. Thank you for sharing it. The way you say something really is the most important factor when it comes to results. This fact makes me sad, so many good causes have been ignored because they told their message wrong.
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    26 HP van Duuren May 26, 2012 at 4:06 AM

    Thanks for your post,

    I know a little about blindness and I wrote my - the Vision -
    for a somewhat similar reason, only my writing is not alway’s seen.
    HP van Duuren recently posted…What Do You Think About My Book Review?

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    27 Simon June 16, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    That is one inspirational video right there, John. Choosing the right words really
    matters specially for us writers. Having that kind of mindset is one way of showing
    to the readers the art or writing. Sometimes writers do forget about that…

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