The Impact of Words

There has been a familiar saying throughout history. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” (Cupples, 1872). The saying is basically persuading the victim of name-calling and bullying to ignore the taunt and refrain from physical retaliation and to remain calm and good-natured. The point of this saying is that there is an impact to each and every word uttered since the beginning of time, and the saying rings true for propaganda.

Propaganda, the impact of those specific chosen words work towards the same initial goal; this is to persuade an audience and crowd that something or someone is right in their point of view and to encourage the public in believing the same thing.

Words, as with actions, have consequences. A recent event within the political world is a perfect illustration of how words can impact those around them, not to mention the consequences of those words and the actions that follow.

Todd Akins, a U.S representative, made some remarks on national television about his opinion on rape and the possibility of pregnancy. Because of those remarks and the impact of his words, the viewpoint and opinions of millions were altered, the consequences and aftermath of his chosen words harsh. The impact of words, when it comes to propaganda, has both negative and positive aspects. There are positive effects to the impact of words and propaganda, such as with the following example.

The American Red Cross endorses blood donations and advertises band aids; the end result being that the action of the blood donation saves lives, and the wound is really not painful and will heal in a day. Advertising also promotes attentiveness of health and safety issues, as with the assistance of seat beats and what could happen if seat beats are not used, the tragic effects of car accidents and that anything could happen with one twist of fate.

Advertisements also has negative effects on society as well, such as with the smoking aids that also deal with propaganda as well. Smoking ads endorse the constant social acceptability and encourage the inappropriate belief that the majority of people smoke. Because of those chosen words and the language that is used, people get the impression that smoking is ok, the health risks intentionally left out. It is easy to generate false images within the mind of the consumer. Advertising influences society as a whole, with both negative and positive effects.

The impact of words has been known to ruin reputations and as with bullying, can cause death and suicides. Caution is recommended and a thought about the consequences of those words is highly desirable, as society has grown, and technology increased.

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