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Language And Perception

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Language is a persuasive tool but can also be misleading and confusing. Barriers such as distorting euphemisms, acronyms, lingo, illogicalities, and clichйs can distort the meaning of words or phrases (Kirby et al, 1999, pg. 92). The most powerful ability of language is to understand and effectively communicate. Being able to clearly communicate ideas to each other allows empowerment and the ability to be open to new thoughts and opinions. The ability to reproduce this information to another in a certain manner can lead to persuasion. The power of persuasion allows individuals to influence and control people (, 2005). This tactic of persuasion can also be referred to as propaganda, which increases power by spreading information for the purpose of promoting some cause (, 2005). The propagandist informs, usually through public speaking or mass media, hoping to persuade the audience to embrace their point of view. With the support of the audience, the speaker gains power.

Through language, leaders are able to determine how the audience perceives a situation, what they are willing to accept, and persuade how they feel. These individuals had a well thought-out plan to persuade people in order to gain power. Certain people are able to verbalize internal feelings and gain the trust of people. Propaganda as an art of persuasion has been used for thousands of years. The Nazi government of Germany, more specifically Adolf Hitler, used the ability to influence the masses to adopt a certain position. Another way language can be used to gain power is by written language. John Grisham has written several best sellers that are enjoyed by many people and persuade the readers to continue to broaden their vocabulary and imagination.

Everyday there are trials with attorneys that have a great deal of power through the language and ideas that they convey to the court. In the case of O.J. Simpson, a dream team of lawyers was hired to argue his case and through persuasion and familiarizing themselves with the language the jury was comfortable with, they were successful. This is an example of the how language can be used to persuade people to think a certain way. Persuasion is an art formed from the ability to think critically. Critical thinking discovers ways to find how people react to situations, what type of words excite people, and how they can be influenced with those words.

The power of language that is encountered by everyone daily can be vast, unlimited, and far-reaching. A proficient use of language can allow us to communicate an exact idea or persuade others to believe one point of view. Throughout history, leaders have used this fact to control



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