Truth Before Dishonor

I would rather be right than popular

To Word-Picture Or Not To Word-Picture

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/11/28

There are many times I choose to use word-pictures to describe concepts and thought processes. I’m not talking “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be” type junk. That’s ridiculous and useless psychobabble. I’m talking something along the lines of:

… so you load down your pick-up with everything you own and you start to head out. But then you get bogged down axle-deep in the mud and there’s no way out except to lighten the load. So you get rid of the heaviest thing — the 7.5 liter engine.

That sort of word-picture gives the connotation, the feeling, the picture of the situation you’re describing much more fully than a thousand words in an analytical style could provide. And it’s much less boring and drawn-out. And this is why I like word-pictures.

But the problem comes when your audience (usually the only person listening to you) gets offended, deciding you’re “talking down” to him or trying to be his teacher or something else just as evil. Now, instead of communicating more clearly, communication has ceased.

And therein lies the rub. Is it possible to use a clearer word-picture instead of a muddy thousand words when someone gets offended by word-pictures?

3 Responses to “To Word-Picture Or Not To Word-Picture”

  1. Laura said

    now I wonder what inspired you to white this…


  2. Laura said

    heheh I meant write, my bad.


  3. Whatever are you insinuating, daughter of mine?


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