By Roy H. Williams
Yes, there are magic words. Do you know them?
Penetrate the shield of customer indifference by shooting verbs from your word-gun. Leap the wall of inattention by putting verb-springs under your feet. Hold the gaze of a wide-eyed audience by smearing verb-honey on your lips.
Verbs are magic words. Rollicking, laughing, lollygagging verbs. Snuggling, cuddling, canoodling verbs. Prancing, strutting, swaggering verbs. Sizzle and wiggle and leap and thrust, drizzle and tickle and beep and bust, projected into the mind they must trigger a mental action.
Verbs kick open the door to Broca’s area of the brain, that portal to conscious awareness. And meter doesn’t hurt, either.
We’re going for Broca.
Broca’s area of the brain is that part of us that anticipates, and hates, the predictable. If you want to bore a person, just do what they expect you to do and say what they expect you to say. Works every time.
Broca’s area is intrigued by the unexpected. And Broca is required to interpret verbs. This is why the word most electric is an unexpected verb.
Take the magic up a notch by Seussing.
The Simpsons – When Lisa’a schoolteacher hears the town motto, “A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man,” she mentions she’d never heard the word embiggens before moving to Springfield. Another teacher replies, “I don’t know why; it’s a perfectly cromulent word.” Later in the episode, while talking about Homer’s audition for the role of town crier, Principal Skinner states, “He’s embiggened that role with his cromulent performance.”
Suessing – making up your own words – gains our attention with a slap of wit. Think of it as Tobasco sauce.
Here are some Broca-surprising half-steps as you move your feet toward Suessing:
Use a noun as a verb: “Just Harley-Davidson your way to the head of the line.”
Use a verb as noun: “If you can’t deliver dazzle, I’ll settle for twinkle.”
Use a modifier as a verb: “He’s planning to slippery his way through the press conference.”
Use a verb as a modifier: “It’s a kicking shade of pink.”
Use a modifier as a noun: “I’m on the road to lethargic.”
Use a noun as a modifier: “Now don’t get all Brokeback Mountain on me.”
That’s enough play for one Monday Morning. We’d better get to work before our bosses doubt our cromulence and disemploy us.