All posts in Matters of the Mind

Linguistic Reframing – watch your words!


For a long time I’ve been aware of and very interested in how the words we use in conversation affect the decisions that people make – I call it Linguistic Reframing.

A few years ago I got SO interested in the subject that I did a diploma on Clinical Hypnosis so I could begin to understand why some words got significantly different outcomes than others. What I learned over those few months amazed me much more than I ever imagined.

I’ve tons of examples to remember but I’ve started this blogpost as a place to list all the ones I come across. I’ll update as I remember/discover more.

Anyway, here’s the first few examples that I can think of.

Undesirable PhrasesTarget Phrases
it's more expensive it's high quality
it will take as MUCH AS 3 daysit would ONLY take 3 days
I've some bad newsThe update is
The ONLY thing I have isWhat I DO have is…
Don't forget.....Remember....
You'll see thatYou'll notice that
You'll feel thatYou'll notice that
Picture this...Imagine this...


If you know of any I should add to the list please tell me by email, TwitterLinkedInFacebook or contact me here.

Over the years I’ve been testing different email subject lines, Google ad variations and text combinations to see which call-to-actions and words create the outcome I want – more sales/signups/calls/whatever.

One test I ran on the CTA(call-to-action) of a Google image ad can be found HERE.

Some of the email AB tests I’ve ran recently can be found HERE.


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RIP Steve Jobs



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Positive Thinking or ‘they must be drinking’!

This video I stumbled across, I feel, offers a far more honest opinion on your typical American ‘Positive Thinking’ and the effect it has on us. I’ve always had my doubts over people who preach “put a smile on and all will be well” – very often that’s just not true.

What I do believe in is that dwelling, on previous bad experiences, can cloud your judgement going forward. Similarly I do see myself making better decisions when I’m in a good(not blindly positive) mood. In the same light, holding a positive/desired outcome in your mind, I find, also directs us when we reach a cross-road. Holding this desired end destination (job, house, partner, health….whatever) in our thoughts ensures that we make the right choices, guided by our sub-conscious. But make no mistake, this isn’t blind positive thinking, this is keeping the carrot in-front of ourselves, so we keep moving forward.

Bad stuff happens, get on with it, and remember where we want to go. In this video Barbara Ehrenreich delivers an intelligent breakdown of her opinions on American positivity, and its risks.


I recently read ‘The Power of your Subconscious Mind’ by DR Joseph Murphy. It’s a heavy read, brushing on part-truths, but taking the theory of our thoughts controlling the world around us to ridiculous, un-scientific, levels. He tries to cast aside any particular religion but fails miserably – there’s a strong Catholic undertone…not that I mind.

However to suggest that cancer is often caused by negative inner thoughts is BONKERS! Surely everyone, of a sane disposition, realises the cruel random nature of our cells running away with themselves. Granted a person with a positive outlook may enjoy the rest of their life, post-diagnosis, more but suggesting that they can affect the outcome of treatment for a disease, outside the reached of our immune system, is ridiculous. In summary: worth the read but with an open mind.

Thought calibration, positive thinking, hypnosis and even religion – what sometimes scares me is how so many people take these ideas as the given truth, without ever questioning themselves. They all stem from truths but most have gotten sidetracked whilst delivering to the masses.