The Value of Words

Recorded on 2012-09-25

Words are ridiculously valuable.

The commodity players will assign a value to those words, based on how many readable words you can cram into a specific area, how much competition there is for those words, or how much a market will reasonably bear before deciding that word is too expensive.

A fiction book which costs $19.95 US / $21.95 Canada could have 100,000 words in it. You paid (enough) attention in math class growing up, so you know that each word is worth $0.0001995 USD ($0.0002195 CAD). Right?

Wrong.

Words are just the construct and have absolutely no value until they are crafted into a message. Some words are worth millions in an international ad campaign, some are worth priceless memories crafted in a moving story, some are worth your life itself in a crucial moment.

A gigantic raw diamond is worth millions and nothing at the same time, until it is expertly cut, polished, and presented. It is laboured over for hours with an immense attention to detail, because at any point it could be rendered worthless. In the wrong hands, it is a chunk of rock. Words are also worth everything and nothing until they are expertly placed, trimmed, focused, and presented. They must be properly arranged, they must be reserved for the right reader, they must paint a picture. They need the right person to bring out their impact.

Words are imagination and potential and profit and hope and emotion and everything.