Home » (K)notty Words » The Calculator

The Calculator

The CALCULATOR welcomes you to paste your content in the window. Submit your selection and PRESTO! — your content is analyzed for clarity and effectiveness. 

There are a total of 28 words that are considered “(K)notty”Just 28!! Think of them as confusing or distracting words that muddle the message, or attract the opposite of what we want. With over 1,000,000 words in the English Language, this is a microscopic percentage to be concerned with. So let’s get busy!

Imagine how much better your message will be when those “28” are eliminated, eradicated, excommunicated, gotten rid of… and oh,… ah,… no longer used! The results will be paradigm shifting!! Enjoy!

“(K)notty Words”
Not Don’t Can’t Won’t Wouldn’t
Couldn’t Shouldn’t Should But Try
Ain’t All Always Aren’t Cannot
Didn’t Doesn’t Every Hadn’t Hasn’t
Haven’t Isn’t Mustn’t Never Ought
  Shant Wasn’t Weren’t  


After eradicating the “(K)notty Words”, they need to be replaced. The most common are “Not and the Hit List Six”Not, Don’t, Can’t, Won’t, Wouldn’t, Couldn’t, Shouldn’t.

The Re-Framing Five

Eradicating “Not” and “Shouldn’t” (as well as “should”) from the most common list above leaves us with five common culprits of poor word choice. By expanding the words and then removing the “not”; we are left with the Re-Framing Five:  Do not, Can not, Will not, Would not, Could not. These are five of the most powerful words in the English Language! — and foreign languages as well.

Interpreting your “(K)notty Words” vs. BETTER Word Choice score:

90 to 100: Well Done!! You are at the highest level of empowering communication! Your message is spot on. It is congruent and specific. You are speaking, thinking and writing from a position of BETTER Word Choice. You have a powerful message that is both heard and embraced by your audience. You have articulated a series of powerful points and have a message with a purpose. You have begun using the Re-Framing Five regularly. Your awareness of word choice is peaking consistently.

  • There is Power in the Clarity of your Articulation.
  • There is Power in the Physiology of your Articulation.
  • There is Power in the Congruence of your Articulation.

As a Master of Articulation, you understand that words mean things. You also understand that your word choice and body language are most effective when they are synchronized. You know that repetition is the mother of skill and keep your focus on mastering the fundamentals.

You have delivered a masterful message.


76 to 89: You have begun to experience a paradigm shift. This range shows you have made some significant changes in your word choice. You are very focused on eradicating the “Not and the Hit List Six and Should, But, Try, and the Universals and Absolutes.” Congratulations on reaching this level of empowering and effective articulation.

Your awareness of using the Re-Framing Five is strong and you are comfortable in making the change in bringing these words more into play:  Do, Can, Will, Would, Could.

You recognize the importance of congruence in your message, bringing your physiology in line with your word choice. There is a difference in the way others respond to you. They notice you speak differently. There is a noticeable change—and they appreciate it. They do so, because your message is clear and uncluttered.

You are still aware of the work necessary to keep the “(K)notty Words” at bay, and are up to the task.


51 to 75: If you have scored in this range, you might have some question about which direction you are heading. It feels like you are moving forward, yet at times being tugged back into old habits.

You are in the middle of that Cognitive-Emotive Dissonance concept (see Chapter Two of Bob’s book:  Remember the Ice and Other Paradigm Shifts). You are more familiar with changing your word choice; AND there is a desire to make a change in your word choice.

Your awareness of “(K)notty Words” is heightened and by recognizing them, you have begun a process of Re-Education. The awareness is the key. You adopt using the Re-Framing Five:  Do, Can, Will, Would, Could, and find yourself feeling more and more comfortable at replacing your old word choice with new and more empowering word choice. Congratulations!


26 to 50: If your score is in this range, there is still a bit of a flawed foundation in the word choice. There are still more “(K)notty Words” than you would like to have. You have probably avoided several multiple “(K)nots” in the same sentence, and may have begun the process of eradicating some of the “but, try, should, shouldn’t” words.

If you have been introduced to Remember the Ice or heard Bob share his empowering word choice concepts, you may find yourself stopping in mid-stream on occasion, and thinking of how you might re-frame your message. You have the start of Cognitive-Emotive Dissonance (Chapter Two of Bob’s book: Remember the Ice and Other Paradigm Shifts) as you begin to realize, thinking about using new and “different” words for old behaviors you have had for some time, still feels strange to you.


0 to 25: There are a total of 28 words that make up the “(K)notty Words” list. (We spell it with a “k” because these words tie you up in “knots”.) If your score is in this range, you have unfortunately utilized a large number of them. These main culprits are identified as “Not and the Hit List Six”. They are “not, don’t, can’t, won’t, wouldn’t, couldn’t, shouldn’t”.

In addition to “not” and the words ending in “n’t”, of which there are a total of 18, there are 9 others that distort your message, and create chaos in your articulation. They are “should, ought, try, but, cannot, all, always, every, never.”

More than likely your message contains way too many of the 28. The words “but, try, should & shouldn’t are more heavily weighted, and they are likely prevalent in the message. Plus you might have some incongruity in your verbal delivery:  saying yes, although you’re shaking your head back and forth in the “no” motion.

Having multiple “(K)notty Words” in the same sentence only compounds the issue and creates an exponential chaotic effect in both the delivery of, and the receiving of your message.


Consider contacting LuAnn Buechler, to help you Re-Frame your message to one that is congruent and empowering. She can easily be reached by email:  bob.nicoll@remembertheice.com or by phone: 507-951-1468.

One Response so far.

  1. The (K)notty Word Calculator is a great tool when writing a document. You can see where your usage of those rascally words appear, and work on Re-Framing your message to get better results. It is the only one of its kind!!