Sunday, December 11, 2016

Words Are Weapons

Words are weapons. In Week Nine of my 'Drafting Against The Dark Arts' class, I showed just how powerful they can be.

(Don't miss lessons from Week One, Week Two, Week Three, Week Four, Week Five, Week Six, Week Seven and Week Eight.)

And no SELFIES allowed!

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It’s often said that a picture paints a thousand words. That’s true. But a single word can also paint a vivid picture. Because words are powerful. Words can stir up strong emotions. Words can spur people into action.

Words are weapons. One who is great with words, holds great powers. And like all powerful weapons, words can be used for good or evil. Words can unite people, words can divide society. Words can reveal truths, words can spread lies. Words can broker peace, words can incite war.

Immigrant or Refugee?

Yes, a single picture can paint a thousand words. But that in fact shows the power of words, not pictures. Try this simple test: show a picture to different people and ask them to write down the first 5 words that come to their mind. Some words will match, some won’t. Chances are, no two people will share the same set of 5 words.

(Note: I paused midway at this point, to conduct the test with my class. Predictably, no pair ever came close to sharing more than two words.)

Because ultimately, words are merely descriptive. Words are not real. Words are merely labels and terms we use to describe reality. The words we choose reflect our own perceptions and personalities. And our perceptions and personalities are different. That’s why people don’t write and speak the same way.

Guilty or Innocent?

Everyone has their own way with words. The one with the best words is the one who can impose their version of reality onto others.

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