Words The Most

Contemporary Literary Review India | Print ISSN 2250-3366 | Online ISSN 2394-6075 | Impact Factor 8.1458 | Vol. 9, No. 3: CLRI August 2022

Words: The Most Potent Tool to Communicate

Dr. Jaya Sharma is a professor and trainer at Sage University, Indore, India.

Dr. Pratik Jain is member of core management team of SAGE University, Indore and also heading Training and Placement and Industry Interaction Cell of the university, at Sage University, Indore.


Words are the most significant and powerful means to express true feelings of human beings. It may mar the speech or may lead one to the glory of success. In every sphere of our life we keep communicating through strong and weighty words that impress our personality on others. Its importance has not only been laid down in scriptures but also in the modern world. The mighty power of words can be seen in the stories, poems, essays and the other forms of artwork in which writers ponder deep to penetrate their meaning for exhibiting their true feelings and emotions. The impact of such words is different on the different set of people as they perceive its meaning as per their pre conceived notions and common understanding of things which help them derive conclusion; a quite complex definition of communication. The aim of this paper is to highlight that efficient and positive words enhance the beauty of speech while negative and poorly chosen words demolish one’s image.

Keywords: Connotation, lexicology, euphemism.


“The art of communication is the language of leadership”, a very famous quote by James Humes underlines the importance of powerful language in the corporate world. It is a known fact that an effective communication is a key to become a successful and efficient leader and words pay the most noteworthy contribution as far as effective communication is concerned. It is not necessary what do you say but it is important to understand how you say it. In brief, the right choice of words is a pavement to lead a splendid life journey. Precisely and meticulously chosen words have the power to inform, educate, convince, influence and leave an influential impact on one’s mind. Communication is vital to the growth of every organization. A true leader needs to be strong communicator to boost the morale of his or her team and needs to understand the unstated emotions. Sometimes, the words only convey the literal meaning: rest is communicated through body language. An efficient leader motivates, guides, counsel and takes initiative to escort the team with the effective and powerful usage of words.

Language got evolved during a period of time and included certain vocabulary and lexis from history and culture to shape a new language. This needs one to work upon it and form new lexicology. In simple words ‘Lexicology’ refers to the study of “form, meaning and behaviour of words.” This study allows the speaker to apply and use variety of words in their colloquial language and makes one aware to choose the apt word in the appropriate situation. This appropriateness largely helps us form personal and professional relationships. The choice of words gets restricted to be implemented in formal, informal and technical and non technical settings. The diction used in writing a scientific journal or research article would differ from that of addressing to a loving friend. Similarly, in professional writing one would use more formal and technical words in documents and presenting information to the targeted audience. Additionally, in addressing particular societal groups, choice of words used would also vary significantly.

Spiritual Aspect

All forms of artwork have a power to express and portray different images of life. They can invoke the true feelings through various ways and paints what can be imagined and trusted on. One such image was portrayed when in the Mahabharat Yudhishthir utters “Ashwatthama hatah iti, nar-o-vah kunjar-o-vah” meaning “Ashwatthama is dead certainly, human or beast”. The occurrence of these words brought climax in the Dharma Yudha of Kurukshetra. In the battle field Lord Krishna planned a strategy against guru Dronacharya. The only way to defeat Guru Dronacharya was through these powerful and penetrating words as his son was his biggest weakness. Knowing the fact that Ashwatthama is immortal, guru Drona trusted the words uttered by Yudhishir who vowed not lie ever in his life. Krishna knew it well that by hearing such intentionally negative influencing words Dronacharya’s self esteemed can be lowered down and his enthusiasm to fight against the Pandva’s can be shattered. With Krishna’s valuable advice and his web of words, Pandvas could win the battle.

This spiritual aspect of understanding the power of using appropriate words is one of the best examples one can quote ever. Although spiritualism always lays emphasis on applying the positive connotation of words yet here it is vice a versa. Negatively charged words cause more injury than the actual wounds.


The connotation of words, be it positive or negative, shapes up our personality, set beliefs, drives our behaviour and creates a magical impact on the overall personality of an individual. The words express its power through the responses we give to it by listening, reading, writing and speaking them. Hence the saying goes right that “Words are food and dress of thought”. Our emotions and thoughts fly high through the wings of words. Our personality gets manifested through our speech. The way we speak reflects our mindset and our thought process. Therefore, it has been suggested since ages that always provide optimistic and positive input to your brain. In this regard, connotation of words should be taken into consideration to analyse positive and negative influence of words.

Positive and Negative connotation

Positive words often lead to motivation and self grooming while negative connotation destroys self esteem and kills one’s morale just like guru Drona. To have a deep understanding of how does energy or power of words work, an experiment was conducted on the plants. Two plants were grown at the same place with regular watering and proper care. To investigate the impact to words, one was infused with and positive and influencing words while another with negative and dissuading words every day. The positive and negative energies worked as per their own tendencies and showed their result on the growth of plants. The plant with bad words stopped growing, turned pale and dried gradually. The one with positive thought kept blooming and flourishing. If this small practical can leave such a powerful impact on the life of plants then what about human beings.

For further illustration, another recent experiment conducted by Japanese Scientist, Masaru Emoto on pure and impure water to exhibit the power of words. He took two containers and filled them with pure and impure water. Pure and crystal clear water which normally freezes into beautiful ice crystal was labeled with negative phrases like “I hate you” or “fear”. After twenty four hours, the pure water didn’t crystallized and was frozen. The water also got contaminated and turned gray. In contrast to this, impure water was labeled with positive thoughts like, “I Love you” or “peace” and was kept aside for twenty four hours. This produced perfectly hexagonal crystals. Emoto’s research concluded that if positive and negative energy can form and deform the basic structure of water then it will definitely work on the minds of human beings.

Francis Bacon in one of his essays has mentioned, “Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true.” Meaning of the words does not lie in words but in one’s perception and his real life experience. For instance, the word ‘hyperactive’ carries both positive and negative connotation. ‘Being hyperactive’ can be considered as energetic person but at the same time it can also be interpreted as ‘abnormally active’ one. The choice of words is always a matter of deliberation. Similarly the word ‘blue’ has denotative and connotative meaning. For a layman ‘Blue’ indicates the ‘colour blue’ but the same word is also used to reveal sad feelings. It is worth to quote Dr. Eugene C. Rollins over here who says: Sticks and stones may brake my bones, but words will hurt me until the day I die (Rollins, 2011).

Apart from positive and negative connotation, words leave great impact while negotiating with people. In a cooperate world, every now and then one needs to negotiate with the people. Words are so powerful that they can change the win- win situation into lose ones and vice inversely. It plays with the mind of people involved in it and changes their thinking process. “Words can be compared to a vehicle which brings up what is hidden inside the speaker and when they are out they start living their own life” (OToole, 1993, p.14). The use of positive words would promote healthy relationships and help fostering his career while the negative words can severely damage one’s personality professionally and personally and may also leave ill effects on the health. Words have the power to control and change peoples lives and cause them to win or lose contracts or jobs and influence their business life (Uwajeh, 2014). Hence, haphazardly spoken words can damage creativity in the mind of a listener, while carefully crafted words can be encouraging and stimulating.

Words as tool

Communication and persuasion is an art to be developed and needs persistent practice to master. The more we practice the better we become to handle the power of words. Considering the business perspective negotiation doesn’t need one to master English language but he/she needs to learn the way it should be communicated. Anthropologist Raymond Birdwhistle in 1970 produced a model to show how important it is to impress on the meaning of the words. According to his study model, the spoken words contribute 7% of the communication while 38 and 55% are contributed by the tone and non verbal clues respectively. Modulation of voice clarifies the meaning of the word and also shows the power it contains. In our daily schedule, we spend 70 % of our time in communication which itself shows the power of words.

In the working scenario, an effective communication can either lead one to the zenith of his career or it may further take him down to nadir. The famous metonymic phrase “Pen is mightier than swords” holds the power of ‘Word’ in itself as they are the most efficacious communicative tool with which any leader can conquer the entire world. Effective communicative tool is important to build trust and inspires one’s to put efforts in right direction to accomplish the desired goals. This can be achieved when the clarity of thought is there in the mind of leader which is possible only when the same is conveyed with the meticulously chosen words. Communication is said to be successful only when it is communicated with “the same sense and sense spirit in which the sender has transferred the message”. One needs to master his oratory skills in order to attain the perfection in dealing with words.


Proverb 15:4 of Bible says, “Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. Considering the spiritual verse from Bible one must choose the words with precision so that no soul gets hurt with your words. For the spiritual upliftment and soul purification, one’s mind should be filled with some good stuff. They are in true sense a powerful tool of an individual’s personality.


  1. Rollins, E. (2011). The Power of the Spoken Word, (pages: 148). AuthorHouse Schoeman, F. (1987). Responsibility, Character and the Emotions: New Essays in Moral Psychology, (pages: 358), Cambridge University Press
  2. Pennebaker, J. (2014). Expressive Writing: Words that Heal, (pages: 198), Idyll Arobor Incorporated
  3. Banyan, C. (2003). The Secret Language of Feelings, (pages: 196), Hypnosis.org.
  4. Castillo, N. (2013). Blurring Organizational Issues and Social Phenomena in the Age of Technology: a multidisciplinary perspective, Lulu.com
  5. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/346471478_Teaching_the_power_of_words_in_negotiations



Dr. Jaya Sharma is a professor and trainer at Sage University, Indore, India. She served for more than a decade in Medi-Caps University, Indore, India as an Assistant professor. She has her Phd in Diasporic Literature and Master in English Literature.


Dr. Pratik Jain has his Phd in Management from Barkatulla University, Bhopal. He is member of core management team of SAGE University, Indore and also heading Training and Placement and Industry Interaction Cell of the university, at Sage University, Indore. He is also a Board Member at Research Foundation of India.

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