It is time to stop quivering in our boots in pointless fear of the future and just roll up our sleeves and build it.
- Ray Pierrehumbert

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Power of Words

Two articles appearing in the NY Times recently talk about the power of words, coming to strikingly different conclusions. Andrew Revkin has a somewhat morose article about coming to grips with the crisis entitled "Are Words Worthless in the Climate Fight?" (The commentary there, which I haven't read as I write this, promises to be quite interesting.)

Yet, there appears in the health section an article about making healthier foods more attractive merely by renaming them. Apparently, for instance, "when regular peas were renamed 'power peas,' the number of children who ate them doubled."

Perhaps the problem is only that the truth has inferior marketing to the fiction.

1 comment:

bigcitylib said...

On the down side, when you name them "light cigarettes", twice as many people smoke them.