I love words. One of my earliest memories was learning the word ‘soporific’ from Beatrix Potter The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies. “It is said that the effect of eating too much lettuce is `soporific’” I remember the furore caused when our then Prime Minister Paul Keating called the Malaysian Prime Minister a ‘recalcitrant’ and Dame Judi Dench as M calling Bond a “..sexist, misogynist dinosaur…”
So, should we be trawling the online thesaurus’ and dictionaries and cramming our speeches full of enthralling, captivating and illuminating words?
Not necessarily. According to advertising legend David Ogilvy author of “Confessions of An Advertising Man” the most persuasive words are simple, action oriented and memorable.
He list his favourites as:
suddenly, now, announcing, introducing, improvement, amazing, sensational, remarkable, revolutionary, startling, miracle, magic, offer, quick, easy, wanted’ challenge, compare, bargain and hurry.
So as yourself, what it is that you want people to remember? Your use of the word ‘recalcitrant’ or the emotional response generated by “I have a dream”?