Does your business language lack pizzazz? – Linguistics | Guest Blogs | HRKnowledgeBase

Guest blogger Lora Zill, artist-in-residence with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, shares some tips today about the use of language in your business. Zill teaches at Gannon University and in gifted programs at Allegheny College.

Many business people have an intuitive sense of how using language in creative ways can impact their business. But what they may not realize is that they are using poetic techniques in how they craft language to gain a wider audience and attract more customers.

You don’t have to be an English major to understand or have a feel for how repeating consonant or vowel sounds (e.g. a AAA publication advertises “Sizzlin’ Western Tours: Corral A Wild Deal” or “Look west for best zest-filled tours”) focus wandering attention spans and have staying power in customers’ minds. Adults don’t lose their love for language sounds that they engaged in as children reading and listening to nursery rhymes.

For example, most parents probably use poetic techniques to select names for their children, sounding out various combinations to hear how they sound together. I don’t know if the President’s mother considered how “Barack Obama” sounded, but the repeating consonants and vowels echo aural devices often formalized in poetry.

If business people harness the sound of language in networking and advertising, they will be appealing to an already developed sense actively being used by their customers whether they’re consciously aware of it or not.

Zill can be reached via email at

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