finding better words that connect

Words mean things; they have a lexical definition. But that’s not all. There’s more! Words carry emotions based on one’s experience and context, both nature and nurture (personality bent and family upbringing, respectively.) And effective communication is all about finding the words that transmit the sender’s (speaker or author) ideas to the receiver (audience or reader).

Here’s a list of words that don’t connect with me. These trigger words are burdening, off-putting, unappealing, turn me off. I translate these trigger words into better words that better connect and/or motivate me, so I don’t feel weighed down or repelled. Don’t want to be wordy or verbose, so I’ll just list them [format= trigger word vs. better word]:

  • discipline vs. habits
  • obey/ obedience vs. do the right thing
  • routine vs. rhythm
  • challenge vs. adventure or rally
  • decision vs. choice
  • plan vs. choosing the future
  • goals vs. milestones
  • accountability vs. support or reinforcement
  • performance – haven’t found a better word for this yet; I do work in a high quality kind of way, but the performance evaluation part gives me the willies

I could write paragraphs ad nauseum on why those trigger words don’t work for me. But, happy to entertain them in the comment thread (so I don’t clutter my blog post with extraneous tirades and rabbit trails.) And, this list is probably great fodder for a psychiatrist to analyze my psyche with.

These are kind of the word-choice equivalent of pet peeves. I’m sure you have some words that set you off too.

You may also like...

4 Responses

  1. jason smith says:

    Mission Statement?
    small group?

    Sometimes though, replacing trigger words with new words makes you look weird? It is difficult to introduce new language.

  2. I do! “Leverage” in social media could often be “Embrace”

    Performance may suggest that one is 'performing' or 'acting' so a substitute word could be “ability” which speaks to the true qualities of an individual –not them 'acting'

  3. Tim says:

    i like, good for sermons

  4. djchuang says:

    @jeremiah I'm tired of the word “leverage”, not so much a viceral reaction but its overuse

    @jason good point, it is hard to introduce new language; I think it'd be better to say that while using the conventional words, I'll also use the synonymns so I can connect with both the un-triggered conventionals and the triggered sensitives