Astute marketers know that what a new product or service is named can have a profound effect on sales. It wasn’t “The Promise to America,” it was “The Contract With America.” It’s not called death insurance, but life insurance. Who would disagree with an estate tax? That’s why opponents call it the death tax. Instead of “unwanted” effects, they’re called “side” effects, as if they were a bonus or something.
The importance of naming especially struck me this morning when I sat down to eat breakfast and was asked if I wanted my “pills” brought over to the table. I had forgotten my fish oil, acidophilious capsule and five Standard Process Catalyn supplements on the counter.
Pills. Hmmm. I hadn’t thought of them as pills.
And we don’t call the box above the bathroom sink a “drug cabinet” but that’s largely what it is. Medicine cabinet sounds, well, softer. In the same way “pills” sounds better than “drugs.”
We don’t have a lot of things to name in chiropractic. But those that we do are especially significant. Two that come to mind are adjustment and manipulation. Plus, I suppose, patient and practice member. I’ve explored these pairs before.
“What’s the big deal, Bill? They’re just words.”
Precisely. And words have meanings. They stand for ideas. They reflect how precisely you see the world. They provide evidence as to how consciously you’re living your life. They equip you to make distinctions. (This is different from that.) Sloppy language is a sign of sloppy thinking. And sloppy thinking is the cause behind a sloppy life—and a sloppy practice. Become more rigorous in your use of language and you’ll discover that your reality profoundly changes.