What's one of the fastest ways to dramatically alter your life, save your marriage, improve your golf game, bring about world peace, or finally start remembering to change the oil in your car? If countless articles appearing in newspapers and magazines week after week are to be believed, this kind of change can be made by deleting one all important word from your vocabulary.
What that word might be is up for debate.
For Facebook managers the word they're getting rid of is user, which the company is now striking in favor of people in an attempt to change the culture of the company. Other popular contenders for words that can effect cultural shifts are can't and impossible. (Check out Alicia Keys making this point here.) Homeschoolers, musicians, and Buddhists are advised to say goodbye to should and all its attendant guilt and self correction. For business people, the word to avoid looking directly in the eye is busy.
From there, the words-to-purge suggestions telescope in specificity: One lawyer's blog suggests the word non-billable might be better off left for dead. Ex-military job seekers are advised to keep away from the word retired when drafting their resumes. An education design firm thinks change in education will result from our dropping the word classroom. A writing blog advises "just getting rid" of just.
Why does it seem to be accepted as a universal truth that these excisions can have the power to change your life, almost as if these words were magic?
Because as anyone who has seen the way they speak and read and write and think change as they build their personal word bank on Vocabulary.com can tell you, words have power. That's why we recommend fine tuning your ability to use them by playing Vocabulary.com whenever you can.
As fitness writer Mark Fisher explains on his blog, "Every single word is a reflection of how we perceive the world around us. At our best, our words are a direct mirror of our hearts and minds." (Which is why he advises clients to never say no, problem, or mistake.)
What word has too much power over you?
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