Words That Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear

Frank Luntz, Author . Hyperion $24.95 (324p) ISBN 978-1-4013-0259-7

After repeating his mantra—"it's not what you say, it's what people hear"—so often in this book, you'd think that Republican pollster Luntz would have taken his own advice to heart. Yet in spite of an opening anecdote that superficially attempts a balanced tone, the book as a whole truly reads more like a manual for right-wing positioning. Even in the sections where he is less partisan, Luntz's advice is not particularly insightful. For instance, his first chapter, on "Ten Rules of Effective Language," starts by instructing readers to use small words and short sentences in their communications. The least effective section in the book is the chapter on "Personal Language for Personal Scenarios," where Luntz advocates manipulative strategies for getting out of traffic tickets, boarding airplanes at the last minute and apologizing to one's wife with the "miracle elixir" of flowers. The most readable and redeeming feature is the two case studies, where Luntz demonstrates his skill as a communicator by identifying real-world communications successes and failures. Unfortunately, by the time nonpartisan readers reach these chapters, they will have already lost patience. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/13/2006
Release date: 12/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 5 pages - 978-1-4013-8488-3
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 978-1-4013-8575-0
Open Ebook - 267 pages - 978-0-316-40856-1
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