The Power of the Word: Part 2

Charles Osgood, the “word merchant,” said that “compared to the spoken word, a picture is a pitiful thing, indeed.” C. J. Ducasse said that “to speak of mere words is much like speaking of mere dynamite.” The wisest man who ever lived said, “The right word spoken at the right time is as beautiful as gold apples in a silver bowl.” It has been said that the way people talk is the best indication of how they think, and the most powerful instrument for influencing a person’s thought process is the spoken word.

I have such great respect for the positive and negative power of words that for years I have been careful in private conversation and public presentations to use only “adult language.” Words like “dependable,” “commitment,” “dedication,” “discipline,” “responsibility,” “honor,” “integrity,” etc., and I am particularly careful to use a large number of four-letter words like “good,” “best,” “real,” “fair,” “hope,” “love,” etc.

The negative influence of words has been well-documented. Bill Glass says that over 90% of the men incarcerated in our penal institutions were repeatedly told by their parents, “One of these days you’re going to end up in jail.” Dr. Stephen Arterburn, cofounder of the world-famous Minirth-Meier Clinics, says that clinician Dr. Les Carter has never worked with an abuse situation that didn’t follow a pattern of verbal abuse before physical abuse. Dr. Carter also said that the more a person cusses, the less sensitive to the nature of their own behavior they become.

Yes, those words are important. Be careful of what you say, realizing the inherent power of words. Think and use the right words and I’ll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!


A talented author and speaker, Zig Ziglar has an appeal that transcends barriers of age, culture, and occupation. Since 1970, he has traveled over five million miles across the world delivering powerful life improvement messages, cultivating the energy of change. Since 1970, an extensive array of Ziglar audio, video, books, and training manuals have been utilized by small businesses, Fortune 500 companies, U.S. Government agencies, churches, school districts, prisons, and non-profit associations...

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