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The big impact of small words

A recent post on the Foodie Farmer blog explores the Top 10 Annoying Words About Agriculture.

We couldn’t agree more when it comes to how words – those 2-D, black and white things – can have such a huge impact on your business especially if they become ingrained or attached to a specific concept. Words – like the air we breathe – are often taken for granted.

In the Foodie Farmer post she explores words like ‘big’, ‘industrial’, and ‘agrarian’. Those are certainly words that can have several connotations depending on what you’re talking about.Unfortunately, those words are most often used in a negative or misinterpreted sense when connected to the agriculture industry.

Framing, the idea that examines how social movements position language and ideas to mobilize support for their efforts, draws on the extraordinary power of language to encourage and incite change. The manner in which movements, businesses, or organizations frame their ideas can have a definite impact on its success.

Based on her analysis of food regime framing, Professor Harriet Friedmann of the University of Toronto, suggests implementing a parallel framing project that basically presents solutions to whatever crisis or issue is at hand, thereby contributing to regime construction as opposed to deconstruction and mistrust. (Source: “Food Sovereignty: Reconnecting Food, Nature and Community”)

The thing is the printed word is not dying out; in fact, it’s more ubiquitous than ever before thanks to the internet, social media, and thousands of ads a day. Like art, the printed word has just changed over the years: from caves to contemporary.

That’s why it’s important to remember that it’s not only what you say, but how you say it.

As Mark Twain so famously said, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is really a large matter. It’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”


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