Sunday, February 21, 2010

Language Doesn’t Just Frame the Argument. Sometimes it Decides It.

What are you for? What are you against?

The words used to ask the question can go a long way to framing your perception of the question, and the position to which you commit.

Last month, evil genius public relations consultant & researcher Frank Luntz circulated a memo to his clients on how to frame – and ultimately derail – financial reform legislation in the United States Congress.

No matter how you feel about Lutz’s political position (or that of his clients), you have to appreciate the methodology.

You can praise or curse the effectiveness at your leisure.

Essentially what Luntz and his company Word Doctors are doing is identifying the Dominant Narrative and plugging their clients’ preferred narrative into them.

It’s like dipping your toe into the stream and then deciding which way you’d like to paddle.

And it just might work.

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