More Than Words

Words convey meaning. They are vehicles for conveying information. Or ideas.

Words are often perspectival. “My heart aches” means something very different if I’m currently breaking up with you or if I am having a heart attack. That is not only a matter of context but of what I am experiencing.

Sometimes though, trying to perfectly convey meaning, words get in our way from making real progress. We spend more time discussing what this or that should be called instead of testing it with real people.

Consider the case of telling someone to get off the train tracks. Instead of finding the right words, we dance, wave, scream, and point. Words are great, but the immediate outcome has a higher priority than finding the right verbal vehicle.

Avoid the very human trap of finding the perfect word and instead show a prototyped solution.