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October 29, 2006



Hey Jon,

First off... love the pic!! Nice to finally put a face with the friendly name... :-)

Language is such a powerful force. I'm reminded of a marketing colleague who was approached by the Republican party a few years ago, when they were having trouble passing a bill in California. They called it "The Defense of Marriage Act." My colleague said, "Change one word... make it 'Protection,' not 'Defense.'

The bill passed by a landslide.

Good, bad or ugly... words make a difference.

Jon Strande


Thank you! Been meaning to add a pic for a while, finally got around to it... ;-)

Yeah, great example!

There is a great quote that I heard Fouro say once and have since heard it elsewhere: "Language is like fire; it can heat your house or it can burn it down".

Very powerful stuff!

Thank you for the comment!




I see that you grew the obligatory Usability Expert facial hair. Good work!

Fouro had it right about language. The trick is that everyone has experiences and perceptions associated with specific words. Some are cultural and thus you may be able to inductively reason what they will be. But others are individual and that's where you can get burned. For example, employees at American Express might not like the word 'Discover' because they associate it with a competitor! However, I think that in most cases people don't put a copywriter's eye to the language in their application, but could certainly benefit from doing so. I know I'll be paying more attention in the future!




Oh yeah, got to look the part, right? ;-)

Great point about the Amex/Discover thing.

Perhaps I could great a presentation that discusses this using images of Noam Chomsky and George Lakoff... oh wait, I'm not smart enough to read those guys. DOH! ;-)



Touche! because neither am I. Reading the Pinker/Lakoff exchange made my head throb incessantly until I made appropriate malty chemical adjustments!

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