There is energy and power in our words. People around us tune in.
Anyone who was paying attention in language class learned that words have two kinds of meaning. The obvious one is “denotation” which is the literal or primary meaning of a word, in contrast to the feelings or ideas that the word suggests. Those ideas or feelings are the “connotation,” the subtle meaning of the word—the overtone, undertone, implication, nuance or suggestion invoked by the word.
Consider a couple health-related examples that illustrate these subtle differences. Continue reading →
In a BBC viewpoint article about the hazards of too much stuff, trend forecaster James Wallman describes an American study documenting what most of us already know—that we have a lot of things in our houses.
According to Wallman, 2 out of 3 people wish they had less stuff. These people are experiencing what he calls stuffocation—an intriguing word that describes the feeling of drowning in stuff. Not surprisingly, the resulting clutter crisis leads to mental stress, which causes physiological symptoms such as elevated cortisol levels. In this way, the mental stress of excess damages our physical health.
I’m with him until he proposes that we solve the problem of excess stuff by spending our money on experiences instead of things. Continue reading →