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The Chosen Words

Updated on January 17, 2015

Its not what you say...

It is not what you say its how you say it... As I become more involved in online communities, it is apparent there is a danger of unnaceptable behaviour unique to online forums that can develop into something quite nasty to witness, sometimes people will go to lengths to sabotage others work, perhaps they disagree with the other persons views, perhaps they don't like the person, or perhaps they are jealous of another's work. I have seen peoples replies to online forum comments with no thought or regard to who they are directing their comments too, and forgetting that actually there is a person at the other side of the computer.

There's an old saying Its not what you say.. Its how you say it.

Do you become angry and frustrated at someones forum post? Have you written an article and it has been taken the wrong way sparking contorversy. Have you published something and regretted it immediately but know it is too late to take it back?

When you are writing you cannot see the other person, you may not even know the other person to whom the text is meant for, and the reader may not know the rate at which it was intended to be read, breathing rate, energy level, pitch or tone. These factors can all have a HUGE impact on how the written text is received.

Knowledge of words alone, however, does not assure good communication. A good vocabulary helps, but other factors must be included for effective communication of the written word.

Before you hit that publish button ask yourself how will that person perceive my message?


The History of the Written Word

I researched online about the history of writing to try to understand how one persons interpretation of a piece of text can be so different.

We know that language existed for a long time before writing. We have probably been talking for between 50,000 and 100,000 years. But archaeology suggests that the first writing emerged around 6,000 years ago.

Pictograms (pictures whose meaning is directly related to the image: eg. a snake means a snake) were first in use in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. These pictograms evolved into Hieroglyphics when the meanings came to include verbs (image of an eye might now also mean 'to see something') and phonetics, (the snake image could mean an 'ess' sound)

The spoken word has nearly all but disappeared as we find ourselves surrounded by technology, email, and internet.

We even stay in touch with our families and friends through Social Netwroking sites, where we have shortened conversations, where we send our co-workers an email in the next cubicle, instead of standing up and walking over to talk to them.

I had to google a text message I was sent recently

sts cnt do lnch cu@eotd x (sorry to say can not do lunch see you at end of the day...)

Over 18.5 billion text messages are sent a month with a total of 68.7 million users (Sandlin). Although there are so many people who text and it is so widely used and used frequently, some even carry it over into their writing.

Even grandparents are not excluded and I recently bought Nana a Txt messaging guide, we are still trying to get her to remember to switch on the phone first though (love you Mum!)


What do you see?

How one person can fall in love with the written word and other become repulsed.

How can I write something and think it's my best piece of work to date, and for someone else to see nothing but it's flaws.

How can we convey emotions in a seemingly emotionless society?

We have 5 senses and as someone who writes I believe you need to engage your reader in these senses, but for different people they still means different things.

1Taste - Food, what does your favourite food remind you of?

2Touch - Close your eyes and feel your way around the computer what does it FEEL like.

3Sight - Look outside the window and describe what you SEE.

4Sound - Close your eyes what do you HEAR.

5Smell - Breath in deep what can you smell.

Now if we were all in the same room doing this, I still bet that not ONE comment would be the SAME...using all the verbs, adjectives and nouns we could think of...get my point?

Lets call the whole thing off

I can't say it any better than this song does

I give to you my pledge for all writers


and respect the INDIVIDUALITY


THE WRITTEN WORD (however it may be written!)

agree -  disagree
agree - disagree

With Great Pleasure

In my own way

It was with pleasure I wrote this page, honestly I wrote it because I had been struggling with understanding some writers and their styles of writing.

I now have come to the understanding that I may not agree, I may not like what they are saying, but I should respect the writer and the effort they have taken to write their article.

Wood Sign

© 2010 Lisa Auch

Stop by to let me know you were here

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    • norma-holt profile image


      5 years ago

      Stopped by again to add this to Blessed by Skiesgreen 2013. This is such an important topic and it should be top of your list, Lisa. Thank you for drawing attention to it and I am also adding it to Profile of a Bully. Hugs.

    • TransplantedSoul profile image


      6 years ago

      You have a great point. We need to keep our web interactions personal (or at least human) too.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      You have such wisdom Lisa....returning to review...and to bless!

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 

      7 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      Thanks for bringing the impact of anger and other negative emotions in forum posts and other online communities to light. It does matter what we say.

    • Monika Weise profile image

      Monika Weise 

      7 years ago from Indianapolis, IN USA

      Much food for thought in this lens!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I enjoyed thinking through this with you. Those of us who work and play on line must be very careful with our words.

    • dwnovacek profile image


      7 years ago

      Interesting and well-presented lens! Blessed by the How to Write Online neighborhood Squid Angel!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      good work done.....

    • onlinebusiness11 profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you.

    • sheilamarie78 profile image


      8 years ago from British Columbia

      It's wonderful when someone writes something that opens a window into their heart.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      It is so important to take care with your writing so that you will be understood the way you intended. This is a skill that needs lots of practice. It is just as important for readers to take the time to try to understand, even if that means reading between the lines, and asking questions before coming to quick judgments. I love the thought put into this lens. It is extremely well written. ** Blessed **

    • DecoratingEvents profile image


      8 years ago

      My grandmother used to quote this a lot "Judge not, lest ye be judged." I like reading others thoughts, experiences and views. They may be different, they may be the same, but as long as I learn something, I'm happy. Another great one Lisa!

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 

      8 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Cool lens! Interesting stuff!

    • drifter0658 lm profile image

      drifter0658 lm 

      8 years ago

      The written word is matter what medium we use our real selves shine through in our writing.

      Thanks for this!

    • Mortira profile image


      8 years ago

      This is a great topic. It's sad to see text and chat making it's way into things like blog articles and even business letters. I'll be 'rolling this to many of my help topic lenses. Thank you!

    • Tagsforkids profile image


      8 years ago

      Great lens and very apropos for the times. As more people communicate online or electronically, it's a subject that will become even more important.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      8 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Enjoyed this! I enjoy reading and definitely experience the author through their writing. Sometimes I am swept into their world and other times I'm just frustrated by their words! Seriously though, great literature has always been a wonderful way to express so much of what is human. Sometimes people just speak without thinking deeply, but they often write more carefully. Even texting reflects a person's character!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 

      8 years ago from Vermont

      Communications is a complex topic, and you've presented some interesting points. When I read a lens I do look for some hint of the author's connection to the topic. Email and its offspring Texting are difficult media for good communication because we lose the eye contact, voice inflection and those are oftentimes written in haste - without consideration for good choice of words or how the recipient may perceive the message. Perception is really what advertising communications try to focus on. Interesting lens, and worth a spin-off, I think.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is an interesting topic and well-written article. You touched on a important point about the human and emotion behind the writing that is so often taken for granted. I agree we are all different and we have to learn to embrace the fact that we are all unique in our own way and that's a good thing!

    • justholidays profile image


      8 years ago

      Great work you've done here, Lisa.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 

      8 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I like this! Interesting thoughts and perspective, and I like that bit where you researched the history of writing. There is definitely a lot more to communicating effectively in writing than having a good vocabulary! It's really important, in my opinion, for the writer to put his or her personality into the work and to come across as a real person to the reader. But, yes, it's so difficult to convey the tone of the message along with the message itself.

    • Pete D profile image

      Pete D 

      8 years ago

      Very nice lens. Thumbs up!

    • LisaAuch1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisa Auch 

      8 years ago from Scotland

      @anonymous: Thank you Tipi x

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Well written, and very good points that you make in writing and choosing words.

      Thanks you!

    • LisaAuch1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisa Auch 

      8 years ago from Scotland

      @delia-delia: thank you for the kind blessing, I do believe as I grow I shall revisit this lens and add to it, but yes thought provoking is what I intended

      many thanks Lisa

    • delia-delia profile image


      8 years ago

      very inspiring lens! a short lens, but long in thought and expressions...I as well feel it deserves a ~"Squid Angel Blessing"~ for the powerful impression...

      the short cut words in texting will be a downfall someday, especially for the young, they will not know how to spell and express meaningfully with chosen words.

    • chefkeem profile image

      Achim Thiemermann 

      8 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Very inspiring lens about the chosen words, especially in our hurried times. :)

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 

      8 years ago from UK

      @indigoj: Hi Lisa, thanks for your message.. it made me smile. We Angels only get to serve for 3 months. Any day now, there will be a whole new team. Hopefully they will discover you and your lenses too. :) Who knows, maybe after a while you will want to apply to be a Squidoo Angel yourself?

      Scottish lensmasters, well of course there is Gordon Hamilton who writes about Scotland and food and other topics, and TheWhistler who writes about Old Time Radio, jptanabe (Jennifer) was born here though she is over the pond these days, BusStopToyShop is a new lensmaster from the West of Scotland, pinkpig is a graphic designer in Edinburgh... I'm sure there must be others but those are the ones who come immediately to mind. Hope you enjoy meeting them!

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 

      8 years ago from UK

      I love this thoughtful lens on the written word... maybe because I love the written word so much and know it can be a powerful tool indeed. Very well presented. As a departing angel, I thought I'd left my last blessing. But I still have powers so here you go... ~*~* Angel Blessed *~*~

      Oh and good to see someone else in Scotland. There are a few of us lurking about... let me know if you want to meet some others. :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      A fascinating subject - and it all comes down to the fact that we each have a unique perspective. My feeling is that it is up to the one giving the message to make sure that they are as clear as possible. After that... well, you can only hope LOL!

      Blessed by a Squid angel :-)


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