A stray dog is only a stray until you name it

I’m a word nerd. How about you? No?

That’s okay. The world needs all kinds of people.

We use words to make sense of experiences.

Ludwig Wittgenstein, the Austrian philosopher, said “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.”

If we can’t name or describe a thing, we can’t relate to it. If we can’t relate to it ourselves, we can’t share it. Without words, the meaning behind anything floats in the ether unattached, like a vague feeling in the pit of your stomach.

I don’t speak a second language (I don’t love that about myself. My grade 11 French teacher and I have that in common). And I’m always so impressed by people who communicate beautifully in their second, third, fourth language. In those moments where they say there’s not an appropriate word in English to capture what they’re trying to say, I SO wish I could jump inside their brain to understand.

Words capture our meaning.

Words allow us to share meaning.

The stories we tell ourselves and each other create our experiences.

Think about the next story you tell yourself.

The conversation with a teammate.

The customer conversation.

Sometimes having the wrong words is worse than having no words at all:



I have to…I get to

I wish…I’m grateful



Are your stories creating the experience you hope to have, the dent you hope to make in the universe, the relationship you want to have with your kids, your spouse, your team, your industry?

Words matter. And they are your choice every time. Unless you give over this powerful tool to ChatGPT. That’s a conversation for another time.

A stray dog is only a stray until you name it.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By continuing to browse on this website, you accept the use of cookies for the above purposes.