One of the IABC 2006 conference papers grabbed my attention immediately. From James E. Lukaszewski, a seasoned communicator from North America, the fantastic notes from his web-based session include a reprint of an article in PR Reporter: Strategy (June 10, 2000) on the strategic power of positive language.
In this paper, Mr Lukaszewski frames the benefits of declarative, positive language as a tool for driving engagement. He describes the effect of what he calls ‘toxic retorts’, the negative language that shuts down ideas and innovation.
Of particular value are the examples of words with negative emotional connotations, and a list of defensive statements to avoid.
While one may argue with the comment that ‘negative language is non-communication’, this piece provides communicators with plenty of examples in the war against weasel words.
Mr Lukaszewski’s Article: http://www.iabc.com/education/pdf/JimLukaszewski_AS.8.pdf
Mr Lukaszewski’s VERY informative site: http://www.e911.com/frame2.html
Weasel Words: http://www.weaselwords.com.au/