(This is the 9th installment in celebration of the power of words and language. To see the whole series, links are at the bottom of this article.)
I stopped in my tracks. I. Couldn’t. Move.
Of all places, it happened in my local health food store.
I saw a package and, being an avid package design admirer (or critic, depending on what I’m looking at), I was shocked.
Right there on the shelf was the above package that reads, “Grown by small farmers.” (This is preceded by “Small farmers. Big change”.)
Toto…. We’re Not
in Kansas Anymore…
I thought, “Why would the size of the farmer matter on a package of cashews?”
It couldn’t be some commentary on the size of his nuts shown on the package? That would be very risqué.
Then it hit me: “Oh, this must be a communal farm for really short farmers. Either that or a farm community for out-of-work hobbits.”
Did this mean that if you applied for a job at this farm and were over 5 feet tall, you were overqualified? Or might you be considered a giant intruding their farm of not-very-tall happiness and would be stoned to death by vertically challenged farmers?
Maybe, They Meant This
I quickly realized that they more than likely meant Small Farms, rather than Small Farmers.
If they’d only left those couple of letters off the word Farms, life would have been grand.
Yes, there are times when size does matter — not on the farm, but at the desktop when writing copy (and in this case, the smaller word would have definitely been the better choice).
The lesson? Don’t get so close to your brand and message that you lose all perspective to what your audience will experience when reading it.
As I promised above, here are the links to the entire series:
- The Power of Words, Part 1: Words That Cause Action
- The Power of Words, Part 2: Speaking with Authority
- The Power of Words, Part 3: The Power to Transport You
- The Power of Words, Part 4: Words That Sell
- The Power of Words, Part 5: Words That Inspire and Unite
- The Power of Words, Part 6: How to Strike Back with Intelligence
- The Power of Words, Part 7: How a 10-year-old Boy Saved the World
- The Power of Words, Part 8: The Pledge of Allegiance Like You’ve Never Heard It (and You’ll Never Hear It the Same Way Again)