Once you have written a blog, for any amount of time, it's inevitable that you come to a point where you search for that one "right word" that clearly conveys exactly what you are trying to say. Finding the right words is critical to communicating a message... and ultimately establishing one's credibility. Your words are a reflection of you.
Recently I was reading a post here on Active Rain, in it Barb Schwarz of StagedHomes.com was cited as being the "inventor" of home staging. As I read it a few bells and whistles went off in my head. I thought that it was a mighty audacious statement to claim that Barb "invented" the process of proactively preparing a home for sale to maximize its appeal to potential buyers. This infers that prior to her 1972 "invention" no Realtor EVER advised nor did any home seller EVER do anything to prepare or improve their home's appeal specifically to entice a potential home buyer to buy it.
Since this is the industry I work in and since I love words and constantly seek out the right one's to accurately communicate what I want to say... this got me to thinking.
First I looked at and looked up the word INVENT... wondering, what ACTUALLY does it mean? The American Heritage Dictionary's definition for "invent" is: "To produce or contrive (something previously unknown) by the use of ingenuity or imagination."
So when applying the dictionary's description of the word, it is really easy to see why we say that Alexander Graham Bell INVENTED the telephone... because BEFORE Bell's invention there was NO such thing as a phone. Likewise, it is easy to say that Thomas Edison INVENTED the electric light bulb... because before Edison's light bulb there was NO such thing.
Speaking of electric...did anyone really INVENT electricity? Well actually NO. Ben Franklin DISCOVERED electricity... but he did not invent it, as it had been in existence forever, just not harnessed by man.
Which brings me back to staging. Did Barb Schwarz "INVENT" staging? I guess I would have to say no. But if she did not INVENT staging what DID she do? Well, I think she "coined" a term. She named a process. Barb brilliantly assigned a word to a process that savvy home-sellers had already been doing all along. "Staging" is the perfect word that clearly conveys exactly the process to that which was being done. Barb found the the one 'right word' that easily captured and communicated a message.
Since Barb had the bright idea to call the process "staging", she has been a tireless champion for it... sharing the message of the benefits of what can be gained if home seller proactivly take steps to ready their home for it's sale. Barb is now joined by the Pegs, the Marthas, the Loris and so many others here on Active Rain who continue perfecting the staging process and contribute what they have learned to benefit the seller and ultimately improve the entire home staging industry.
So the moral of my story is, choose your words carefully or you may look like a fool. Words do matter in the communication of a message... for if Barb Schwarz had not come up the term "staging" who knows what I would be blogging about today. Hmmm... which now makes me wonder, who came up with the word "blog"?
Word It Forward...
POST SCRIPT 1: For whatever reason something I wrote here has hit a nerve with a few of you... and you have written me on the QT to express your concerns about this post with comments like "I don't think you wrote this blog to stir up any negativity, I'm just nervous that it will appear to others outside AR as such." Well, I have some things to say about that... see my comment below.
POST SCRIPT 2: See re-edited version of this post on NBC - NEW YORK's website.
POST SCRIPT 3: My follow up to this blog (Part 2) can be seen here: My Personal COMMENT on a STAGER'S STORM in the Rain