Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Power is one of those English words that I wish had a wider vocabulary, like 'love' in Greek. Dictionary definitions run the gamut from political authority to energy or exerted force to strength and ability. For a word to be used in so many contexts is frustrating to new English speakers and bothersome for writers (and librarians). If you take a moment, I'm sure you'll think of a variety of ways we use the word power. Here's some I came up with:
  • Political - "in power"
  • Rights movements - "empowered"
  • Car ads - "powerful engine"
  • Sports - "power play"
  • Faith - "power of the Holy Spirit"
  • Business - "power words, power suits"

It struck me that many of these uses are worthless unless there is belief behind the power. Stay with me, I do have a point - or at least some thoughts. See, if politicians can't gather people to believe in his/her ability to lead, they won't come into power. And if you believe a cause isn't worthy of a fight, how is it empowering to stand up for your rights?
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  1. I think the real power in words lies in their ability to tap into the belief sources that exist within each of us. We all want a leader to follow, a cause to believe in, a force to lean on, someone to not only take care of us but to also be on the successful and winning side. The power of words, therefore, lies in properly tapping, extracting, and harnessing that innate belief within each of us to the cause described.

  2. That's an interesting view, Nathan - I'll think about it some more. I nearly didn't publish this post but I'm glad I worked on it more and invited comments...
    One thing I know we agree on - we both love words!