The Twelve Most Persuasive Words in English


“Of the modes of persuasion furnished by the spoken word there are three kinds. The first kind depends on the personal character of the speaker; the second on putting the audience into a certain frame of mind; the third on the proof, provided by the words of the speech itself.”
– A Rephrasing of Aristotle’s Rhetoric

The choice of words is one of the key components of persuasive communication. In marketing, advertising, grant- or project proposal writing, or in most other interactions, we attempt to influence someone’s mind about an idea or a product.

The Twelve Most Persuasive Words in EnglishBelow is a list (in order) of the twelve most persuasive words that have proven to be most influential on listeners’ or readers’ minds. Often, advertisements consist of crafty constructions of these words. Surprisingly, the word ‘free’ is absent. The Language Log website at the University of Pennsylvania has an interesting thread on the source of this list.

  1. You
  2. Money
  3. Save
  4. New
  5. Results
  6. Health
  7. Easy
  8. Safety
  9. Love
  10. Discovery
  11. Proven
  12. Guarantee

How will we use these words in our verbal and written communications? How will we incorporate these words into our everyday vocabulary?

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