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  • Ice Chip #391

    What about using the word – “No?”

    There are 28 “(K)notty Words” that litter the word choice landscape:

    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  

    The word “NO” is missing from the list. It is an appropriate word in many instances.

    For example:

    Instead of sign along a country road with a double yellow line down the center with a message of:

    Do Not Pass

    Better results will come about with a sign like this: NO Passing

    (Interesting to note that the traffic tickets for improper passing occur after the Do Not Pass signs!  — Even though most drivers know what the double line signifies!)

    We are compelled to pass because we have an image of passing a vehicle after we are encouraged to DO a behavior.  The “Don’t” plants the seed of the opposite.

    NO very specifically gives a directive. NO Passing. We maintain that behavior until the dotted line is on our side of the road, AND the opportunity for passing safely presents itself.

    No is also used thousands of times to indicate a desire to avoid something. It is a simple response to a closed question:

    Do you like Brussels sprouts? No, thank you. (However, if you wrap them in bacon?  Yes!!)

    Would you like to dance? No. Perhaps later, after I take a short break.

    Remember the Ice is committed to its vision of eradicating “(K)notty Words” from the language landscape. The result is more effective communication. To find out more about the training programs offered, respond to this email with your interest and we will find out which programs are best suited for you and your team.

    Oh, one more question:  Do you have to be perfect in your word choice?  No.

    Desiring more knowledge of BETTER Word Choice enhances your communication.

    Empowering Regards,


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