Blazing Center / Communication / Words / March 7, 2014

When Your Words Cry “Wolf”

From my latest post at The Blazing Center:

The most Amazing thing you’ve ever seen!

Try to watch this video without weeping.

You need to go there; it’s the best restaurant ever!

12 things you need to know to make it through today

7 life hacks you can’t live without


Every day we hear phrases like these and read headlines offering us “essential”, “incredible”, or “unbelievable” something-or-other. Upworthy has made an evil art form out of using such titles as click-bait. If a description of anything doesn’t include a superlative it’s good for nothing. But what happens when we run out of superlatives and absolutes (if we haven’t already)?

If everything is amazing nothing is. By definition, not everything can be the best or worst. If every piece of advice is essential and we can’t live without those life hacks, well we should just give up now; life is hopeless.

A good principle to use in all (yes all; this is proper use of an extreme) your communication is this: words communicate meaning. When we persistently misuse them we skew and undermine that meaning. Meaning matters; without it we don’t know what to believe or who to trust. To abuse terms, to over-value inflate whatever we are describing, is to bankrupt words of meaning and our own reputations of trustworthiness.

 Read the full post HERE.

photo credit: falcon1961 via photopin cc

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