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Politicians use of hypnotic language

I had the privilege of participating in a most interesting webinar recently, the topic being “The hypnotic language used by Politicians”. The webinar covered the way politicians speak, why they speak in the way they do along with examples from present day politicians such as Barack Obama, Donald Trump, David Cameron and Jean-Claude Juncker. Who? I hear you say. He’s the head of the European Commission for those who perhaps aren’t familiar with the name.


Anyway back to the webinar, one of the main subjects touched upon was Nominalisation. What’s nominalisation? To quote Wikipedia; nominalisation is the use of a word which is not a noun (e.g. a verb, an adjective or an adverb) as a noun, or as the head of a noun phrase, with or without morphological transformation”. 


Great, I’m glad we’ve cleared that up. Allow me to explain in a slightly more understandable way. Changing a verb or other word into a noun is called nominalisation. They’re words which contain no sensory information. We can’t feel them, touch them or see them. They’re non tangible which means they can be interpreted in different ways. Some examples include; analysis, hope, opportunity, principles, progressive, security, development etc. When you study these words you’ll realise that their meaning will differ from person to person. A brick is a brick. An elephant an elephant but what’s freedom? What is justice? 


When we stumble across nominalisations we have to search our minds to find explanations and if many of these words are used in a sentence or speech we become so occupied trying to identify their meanings that we become befuddled and confused, even hypnotised. Even more issues arise when nominalisations are used continuously as we struggle to identify with what’s being said and in these instances mistrust is created with the purveyor of the words. To prove my point, how many politicians do you trust?

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Politician’s stuff they’re speeches full of nominalisations. Trump, Obama, Cameron they’re all at it. 

Here’s an example; 

  • “When you put your cross in the Conservative box, you’re putting your faith in us. To finish the job we started. To back working people. To deliver security for you and your family."

That’s more fuzzy than Fuzzy Bear playing with Fuzzy Felt. What is faith? What job did you start? What are you going to back the working people with and what security are you going to deliver? Here’s another example;
  • “A Greater Britain. Where people have greater hope, greater chances, greater security“.

These examples show exactly why many of us haven’t the slightest clue of what valid points are being raised in the EU referendum and to be perfectly honest many of the politicians don’t either.
So what should we do? Well there’s not a lot you can do other than become more aware of it, don’t be fooled by it and try to pick out the genuine points within what’s being said. Good luck with that.
If you want watch the webinar, which I can thoroughly recommend, its hosted by Human Givens College and is due to be uploaded to their site in the near future. www.hgonlinecourses.com