Choosing Your Words

You probably learned in pre-school that "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me." Yet you can't believe everything you learned in pre-school. In the world of business, poor word choices can turn off clients, drive away customers, and destroy mutual relationships. In all aspects of life words can be powerful tools of success or powerful tools of self-destruction.
In the world of business, words offer direction and motivation to the people who produce goods and services. They provide instructions for those who ship and deliver. The character of a company's communication can have a compelling effect on the image it projects to its clients and customers. The way you use your words can have a great impact on how people look at you as a successful businessperson. A person with a great use of influence will know how to use and speak language correctly and fluently much greater than someone who uses language carelessly and incorrectly.
Let me be clear for a moment. You don't have to know every word in the dictionary and have impeccable grammar. It clearly means that you will have a better chance of succeeding in the business world if your speaking and writing identify you as an educated person. With the English language consisting of about 800,000 words, we must know how to use the correct words to properly bring forth their correct meanings. It is said that we use only 800 words each day in our conversations. Surprisingly, 800 of those everyday words can have about 14,000 different meanings!
To illustrate: I placed a ring on my girlfriend's finger. I watched these two MMA fighters fight it out in the ring. Eating dinner last night, I removed my napkin from the napkin ring after sitting down. Today I might change my ring-tone on my phone. In that simple story, the word ring had four different meanings. Other common words have many more.
Meanings of common words may vary from person to person, place to place, and even from one religion to another. People in the northern states of America may refer a soda beverage as "pop" while southerners may simply call it "soda" or "coke."
Words are a uniquely human form of communication, but they by no means represent the full range of human expression. Interestingly, some of our most important communication is wordless. But, let's try to focus on our oral communication first.


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