Art of Phrasing

A phrase is a creative expression, crafted by a clever and thoughtful placement of words. Also known as quotes, these expressions reveal a distinct art of managing the words, for powerfully communicating an idea or a message. Skillfully worded, these expressions portray a kind of magical creativity that becomes indelible in the memories of all those who happen to come across such creative phrases.

The literary world is full of such interesting expressions. All great leaders, spell-casting orators, attention-gaining writers and prominent thinkers have, now & then, exhibited their art of phrasing by wording out certain delightful expressions. These expressions have very effectively & meaningfully conveyed the thoughts of communicators.

These phrases have an amusingly wide variety. Ranging from political to social; scientific to managerial; motivational to educational & serious to humorous, in all their hues & tones, these expressions underline a very useful thought conveyed through a captivating volley of words. Every expression has a distinct flavor, typical of the personality traits of the phrase composer. While political leaders have cajoled the masses to put in their best for their countries, social thinkers have emphasized the importance of working for the benefit of the under privileged. While the scientists & entrepreneurs have tried to persuade others towards innovation & invention; the managers have attempted to give tips on managerial skills.

Although most of such expressions exhibit the seriousness of the thought being conveyed yet there are many that are hilarious in nature and reflect a fun filled view. Nonetheless, even the humorous expressions reveal the masterly creativity in fascinating composition of words.

The popular expressions have transcended all human boundaries of geography, colour, race and language. One such expression that transcended even the astronomical boundaries was the one beamed by Neil Armstrong on becoming the first human to have landed on earth’s moon. Having taken the first steps on the surface of the moon, on July 20, 1969 during the Apollo 11 space mission, Neil Armstrong uttered the famous words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” This expression summed up the herculean efforts put in by thousands of people engaged in space exploration.

Political leaders have crafted some very thoughtful phrases that are not only unique but are also universal in nature. In his inaugural address, after taking the presidential oath of office in 1961, US President John F. Kennedy persuaded his countrymen to do their best for the country with his famous words, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” The glorious expression has a very strong appeal not only for the people of the USA but also for people in all other countries.

Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, former President of India, deeply motivated his young audience to work passionately & with single-minded devotion to achieve their goals. He gave an altogether new meaning to dream by saying, “Dream is not what you see in your sleep. It is that which does not let you sleep.”

There are many expressions that tend to redefine certain notions. One such expression astutely worded by George S. Patton, a U.S. army officer who was well known for his leadership qualities, redefines success. In World War II, U.S. Third Army, under his leadership, is said to have made deeper advances into enemy positions, liberating many territories at a fast pace. His leadership acumen went on to say, “I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs, but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.”

On the personal front many popular expressions signify humility, humbleness & an inquisitive approach to life, to look for more insights. Gautama Buddha, the great spiritual teacher from ancient India, also known as “the enlightened one’, preached right thought, right action, right understanding and right effort. Buddha travelled far & wide and awakened the masses, advising them not to rest on laurels of achievement. During his discourses he told his disciples, “I never see what has been done. I only see what remains to be done.”

Humility is personified in a famous expression by Socrates, the classical Greek philosopher. A social & moral critic, regarded as one of the founders of western philosophy, Socrates observed that there were many who projected themselves as wise men when, in fact, they were not. To make people understand that there was never an end to learning, he once proclaimed, “As for me, all I know is that I know nothing”.

Certain expressions have a majestic characteristic that puts across the intended message very forcefully. Remembered as the world-famous speaker & author, Helen Keller championed many social causes in USA. Her intelligence & the ability to communicate prolifically reverberate through her famous words, “It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision.”                                                                                    

The art of creating such meaningful phrases does a lot to move & inspire the listeners & the readers. In fact, such phrases ooze the nectar of life’s experience of the creator. The life story of Nelson Mandela has many inspiring lessons for the youth. The Nobel Laureate for peace & former President of South Africa was earlier an activist who served 27 years in prison. After his release, he was instrumental in bringing about multi-racial democracy in South Africa. One of his encouraging lessons gets narrated in his popular words, “It always seems impossible until it is done.”

Inventions don’t happen without failures. However, most success stories skirt any reference to failures, giving an impression that there were never any obstacles. Thomas Alva Edison, inventor & scientist, developed many devices & had many patents to his name. He was also credited with having failed many times in pursuit of his inventions, but that never deterred him from experimenting further. He was bold enough to gracefully summarize his failures by telling, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Creative expressions have also been used to circumvent direct criticism of things not to the liking of someone. Not happy with the way the club was functioning, Groucho Marx, comedian & master of wit, resigned the membership of his club by writing, “I don’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member.”

Hilary Zig Ziglar, author, salesman, trainer & motivational speaker has a crusading remark to make on the way people treat their jobs once they are employed. “A lot of people quit looking for work as soon as they find a job”, is his way of telling people to keep contributing their best for the success of the organization where they are employed.

There are certain phenomena which are truly natural, aging being one of these. Still, human beings across continents find it extremely difficult to gracefully accept that they are growing in age. Mark Twain, one of the most widely loved writers & an icon of humor made it seem very simple by saying, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

Phrases express creativity; they also depict humor beautifully. Again, it is a matter of selecting & arranging the right kind of words to bring fun into the wordy formation. Ranked among the wealthiest people of the world, Warren Buffett does not shun simplicity & humor. He is known for mixing humor even in business discussions. He brought forth his humble style when he made fun of himself saying, “I buy expensive suits. They just look cheap on me.”

Many creative expressions become hot & favorite. One such favored expression doing the rounds is, “If you do what you always did, you’ll get what you always got.” Obviously, it denotes the need to bring in innovation & inventiveness in our work & style of functioning. It underscores the need to change with change.

The desire to show serious concern about a social issue also brings in artistry into the management of words. The protagonists of population control have impressively propagated the idea by saying too much in too little. The message is wittily worded & lucidly conveyed through, “Make love, not babies.”

The art of phrasing establishes the ingenuity of the creator. Once the desired phrase is assembled, it surely does its assigned task in a refined & polite manner. It also becomes potently useful for all like-minded persons. A vivid example is the sign plate, resting on the desk of a busy executive, that faces the visitors & reads, “If you have nothing to do, please don’t do it here.”

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