Shared by Karen Krawczyk

“Language is the bugle of social change, when language changes behaviour will not be far behind “ Charles Handy

As someone who has worked with communication and words I have always been aware of the impact that words can have. I was never a believer of the saying that sticks and stones may hurt your bones but names will never hurt you. The impact of somebody saying something thoughtless or insensitive or even cruel can stay with you for a very long time and have a longstanding negative impact.

I have also come to see that we can interpret the same word in different ways as well as noticing how the meaning and acceptance of words can change over time eg gay and , knackered.
Without the words, the changing language, we cannot have the conversations that will allow us to move on, to change the story and change behaviour.

In recent months we have seen that in terms of the climate, we have moved to discuss climate crisis, or climate emergency instead of climate change.

The words emergency or crisis encourage us to behave in a very different way to the word change.

I started writing this piece before we knew about corona virus or covid 19 and how this was going to impact hugely on our lives.

There are new words and maybe words that we already, know, but which we are seeing more frequently in our conversations and the stories we tell.

What positive words and changes in language are you seeing and hearing when people are talking?

What Changes in behaviour are you hoping to see with these changing words?

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