The art of playing with words

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Somewhere in the air above the English channel

I’ve just sat down, fastened my seatbelt, took my Kindle out of my bag, kicked the bag graciously under the seat in front of me and got ready for the flight. I looked lovingly at my Kindle and got excited about an hour of blissful reading in peace. Oh yes, I do love a good read! Not to mention the luxury of being able to do that in the morning! I just love a good story and can get totally lost in it. I also love how good writers are able to play with language and flirt with words in unforgettable ways.

At some point last year I was reading Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walters and I still remember one delightful sentence at the very beginning of the book:

“… Vergogna meant shame, and was a remnant from the founding of the village in the seventeenth century as a place for sailors and fishers to find women of… a certain moral and commercial flexibility.”

A certain moral and commercial flexibility? Can you think of a more elegant and positive way to describe the oldest profession in the world? Pure genius! And isn’t it amazing how that one specific description just stuck with me and I can remember it until now?

That proves how powerful the written words can be. How easily they can seduce us, play with our emotions or stay with us for a long time, if used in a clever way. It also shows how we can talk in a compelling way about matters that are not always pleasant or easy to talk about.

One of our main areas of expertise at boutiK is communication development. In practice it means writing and testing communication concepts to help our clients find the most compelling way to talk about their products. As qualitative researchers with so many years (uhm!) of experience we have written and tested hundreds of them. And we have that unique instinct that tells us straight away what doesn’t work and the skills that allow us to make it better. We are often asked to ‘smoothen’ the concepts and play with their language before we show them to consumers.
And yes, we do love playing with words! We are certainly not morally flexible, but our pens definitely are!

Author: Kasia Gandhi

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