Whats In A Word? More Than You Realize

What's in a word? Apparently more than we might want.

For others, the ability to express yourself in the most meaningful way.

I have written articles before on how bizarre the English language can be and for that matter; many languages have special challenges with interpreting meanings.

There is one word in China that I heard has about 40 different meanings, (one source said the two words have over 80 meanings) depending on usage and emphasis. That word is Wu Li. Gary Zukav (author of "The Seat of the Soul") talks about it in his book "The Dancing Wu Li Masters.

For the book "The Dancing Wu Li Masters", it means patterns of organic energy or physics. Other more popular meanings are:

My Way
I clutch my ideas

For those who study both metaphysics and quantum physics, like myself, I find it interesting that it carries physics and enlightened as meanings.

In English, we have many words that people will interchange yet have different meanings, which can further confuse the receiver of your message.

Two such words are, effective and efficient. Effective is doing the right thing, that which you set out to do. Efficiency is doing whatever you set out to do well.

You can have one without necessarily having the other. Most people understand doing the right thing but not well, yet they get caught up on understanding how you can do the wrong thing well, efficiency without effectiveness.

Imagine you are on a sailboat traveling across the Pacific when you are informed:

We have some good news and bad news. First, we have picked up a great wind and can get back on our time schedule; however, our compass broke and we haven't the slightest idea where we are.

So, they are traveling very efficiently, but not very effectively.

Even the spelling of words can cause grief and misunderstandings. I remember when I was in elementary school and the teacher would just say, sound it out. However, that doesn't always work. There is the whole issue of synonyms and homonyms, as well as the issue that we have this habit if breaking the rules in order to have more expression and growth in our language. (Growth by the way is important).

Yet, one of the most enforced rules that I had to remember in schools was:

Use i before e (from here on it gets complicated)
except after c
or when sounded as 'a' as in neighbour and weigh.

But does it stop there, noooo.

Some more exceptions that don't seem to follow any of the above are:









(and ironically or suitably) weird

Many more words can be spelling traps for people. They sound similar and many people are not sure where to put them.

Some common ones are:

Affect -a verb -to influence
Effect- a noun ? a result, a verb- bring to pass

Allude ?refer indirectly to
Elude ? slip away

Can ?ability
May- permission

Farther ?physical distance
Further ? abstract relationships of degree

Imply ? A speaker implies
Infer ? A hearer infers

Such as- examples
Like ? resemblances

You can see why good communicators are in a high demand for many corporations and businesses. It is never too late to invest the time and effort into your self and master your ability to communicate on a higher level.

All the Best!
Maria Boomhower
The Master Communicator
To get a free report on Communication Mastery, go to:

P.S. If you like what you're reading in this ezine, you'll love the book, "Overcoming Barriers to Communication." It's a manual that helps you overcome the challengers that start with Intrapersonal to Interpersonal and on to Mass Communication. Overcoming Barriers to Communication

home | site map
© 2005