What does The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy, Corporal Jones from Dad’s Army, and the slogan from the BBC news web site with the latest petrol pricing crisis have in common?
the words DONT PANIC
Language is processed unconsciously, so, not surprisingly, the effect of the words dont panic is much more like PANIC!
Perhaps the next helpful headline attention grabber ‘slogan’ could be SAY NO TO CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE OVER ROCKETING FOOD AND PETROL PRICES, DONT WORRY, DONT PANIC, IT WONT BE BAD’ – Arraghhhhhhhh!!!!!
its the same kind of effect as the now proverbial dont think of a blue elephant. What do you do, you think of a blue elephant. Brilliant!
The use of negative commands almost always has the undesired effect ( unless you are using them deliberately ), Like DO NOT FEEL GOOD NOW.
Anyway, if you look at one of mayor Boris Johnson’s initiatives you can see immediately the effect positive language can have.
no happy not negating then!