what is the most powerful word in the english language?

Sally Schneider

An intriguing question came to us in an email one recent morning, via a TED-minded LinkedIn group. We thought we’d pass it on and see what you think…

What is the single most powerful word in the English language?

There are so many wonderful words: IMAGINE, WE, LOVE, JOY…Our vote (subject to change) is YES.

What’s yours?

Thanks, Pamela! (again!)

11 Responses to what is the most powerful word in the english language?

  1. Cassandra 09.30.2010 at 4:26am #

    Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog – incredibly refreshing in a sea of sameness.

  2. Sally 09.30.2010 at 9:37am #

    We want to thank you all for the Comments and emails you send expressing your enjoyment of the blog. It is like fuel to us…!

  3. pippin 09.30.2010 at 11:21am #

    a powerful word is often used as a command – stand up! the ‘you’ is implied. it is as though the one commanding does not have time to say ‘you’ and goes right to the verb. so i suggest the imperative form of the verb ‘love’:
    Love your neighbor as yourself.
    Husbands, love your wives
    we can’t wiggle around or out from under either of those uses of the word ‘love.’


  4. jody 09.30.2010 at 4:19pm #

    sorry everyone…hit a button, so the post may be a duplicate, but i’ll finish this one…was saying…

    the word “yes” has such a great vibration”…and that its kind of interesting to say “no” in the same vibration…

    and then thinking…

    “a picture says a thousand words”

    and, they say,

    “words are only 7% of communcation”

    also, love the word “gratitude”

  5. Sally 09.30.2010 at 5:10pm #

    I forgot the word GRATITUDE. That’s a really good one. Thanks for reminding us.

  6. PioneerValleyGirl 10.01.2010 at 6:53pm #

    I’ve found “why” a rather powerful one, as well…

  7. Sally 10.03.2010 at 2:46pm #

    Reader MH sent us this intriguing email:

    “Interesting post on the most powerful words in English. When I saw the title of this post, I wasn’t sure where you were going. As a student of several foreign languages (some spoken, some dead), I saw the question from the point of view of the non-English speaker. Weird, huh? And my response was the lowly word “get” which you don’t appreciate until you are teaching English in a foreign country (like I was in 1986-87) and realize how powerful this little word is (in combination with prepositions).”

    We wrote back asking if he could give some examples of “GET”.

    “We use “get” all the time in colloquial (American) English. It was the word I missed the most when teaching conversational English to French high school students.

    Consider this report of a typical morning:

    I got up at 7, told my sister to get out of the bathroom, got some cereal and started getting ready for school. I don’t get why my mom doesn’t want me to wear short shorts to school. She needs to get over it. Anyway, I finally got out of the house at 7:45 so I could get to the bus on time. It was so crowded that I could barely get in and I got the last seat. As usual, Tom and Jane were getting it on in the back of the bus; they get away with it every day. I got up to look, but the driver told me to get down. That’s what I get for being curious. I seriously need to get a life. That’s all for now — got to go!”


  8. Serenity 04.10.2012 at 12:27am #

    A BIG wow @v the above comment (re: “get”). What an excellent reminder of a word we tend to ignore but that has such important and ubiquitous use in the English language!

  9. howard 05.15.2012 at 5:22am #

    your name is the most powerful word.

  10. Sally 05.17.2012 at 9:32pm #

    WOW. Great!

  11. sahana 05.10.2016 at 10:14am #


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