Did you know the English language contains approximately 750,000 words? It has the largest amount of words than any other language in the world today. German is a distant second with about half as many words.
Yet our vocabulary is surprisingly limited with the average person using between 2,000 and 10,000 words. We only therefore use between 1% and 2% of the language. Worst yet most us use more negative words than positive ones.
‘A powerful agent is the right word. Whenever we come upon one of those intensely right words, the resulting effect is physical as well as spiritual, and electrically prompt’ – Mark Twain
Most people are not concerned by the lack of vocabulary, but more from the words they choose to use. Many of the words we use convey distinct emotional outcomes, like using the word hate. This word intensifies a negative emotional state. So rather than hating something it is less negatively impactful to us and those we are addressing to say I prefer something else. Using highly emotionally charged words can transform your state or someone else’s very quickly.
Throughout our history, our greatest leaders have used the power of the spoken word to transform our emotions and ‘really hear’ the message they are conveying. Think of Martin Luther King’s speech…..I have a dream. He used positive words and phrases to move us to act positively to change racial hatred and inequality, rather than using hateful, bitter words that would anger and embitter us.
Most beliefs can be changed by words and words can be changed by our beliefs. Using positive and empowering words can heighten our most powerful emotions just as using negative words can devastate us.
If we recognise the power that our words have and use them wisely we can transform our own lives and the lives of those around us. So take notice of the common words you regularly use and if they are negative try using new and more empowering words to describe yourself and what you are feeling to make sure it is pulling you in the right direction, rather than dragging you or others down further.