Your choice of words matters: Part 2

Aug. 4, 2010
Dr. Nate Booth continues his study of semantics by explaining that the listener is not the only one shaped by language — the speaker is too. Of the two dentists described in this article, which one would you rather be?
By Dr. Nate BoothCLICK HERE to read Part 1 of this two-part series.In addition to the listener, there is another person shaped by language — the speaker. The words you choose to describe the people, things, and tasks in your office help define how you see yourself and your profession. Following are descriptions of two dentists. As you read them ask yourself, “Which one would I rather be?”Dentist A: Meets with her staff in the waiting roomTells people what work they need at the case presentationCuts teeth with a drill and puts in fillings

Dentist B:

  • Meets with her team in the reception area
  • Advises people on possible treatment at the case conversation
  • Shapes teeth with a handpiece and places restorations

I hope you would rather be the second dentist. Two final questions: “Does the dentist create the words?” or “Do the words create the dentist?” The answer is yes.

A powerful agent is the right word. Whenever we come upon one of those intensely right words, the resulting effect is physical as well as spiritual, and electrically prompt. — Mark Twain

Author bio
Dr. Nate Booth is a speaker, consultant, and author who provides dentists with the information and systems they need to thrive in their dental practices. Dr. Booth is a practice-management advisor for ChaseHealthAdvance. He is the creator of the in-office, DVD-based program, The “Yes” System: How to Make It Easy for People to Accept Comprehensive Dentistry. For more information, go to, or call (800) 917-0008.