Boost Linguistics
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Boost Linguistics

Adjust Your Tone

The hardest part of using text as a primary form of communication is presenting the right tone. When communicating verbally, controlling your tone comes naturally. With text, tone and inflection are indicated through word choice. Using the Boost Editor, I break down two sentences and show how word choice changes the tone.

Example Sentence #1

In “Just.Switch.It.Off” by Alex Mathers talks about being creative and being on the internet. Talking about internet addiction, he states “Why am I talking about the Internet as if it’s such a bad thing?”

These emotional scores are our baseline. The Anger score is highest, but what if we optimized for other emotions?

Joy

To optimize for Joy, I changed out ‘bad’ for ‘wonderful’ and increased the Joy rating by 79%- “Why am I talking about the Internet as if it’s such a wonderful thing?”

As you can see,Joy is very easy to express, as there are a wide variety of adjectives to express Joy.

Anger

“Why am I shouting about the Internet as if it’s such a bad thing?”

This time I’ve changed ‘talking’ to ‘shouting’ , increasing the Anger by 11%.

Disgust

Why am I talking about the Internet as if it’s such a gross thing?

Changing “bad” to “gross” brings Disgust up to 61%. Other words to show Disgust include flagrant, blatant, obvious, shameless, brazen, audacious, undisguised, unconcealed, patent, transparent, manifest, and palpable.

Anxiety

“Why am I talking about the Internet as if it’s a crummy tool?”

Other adjectives that I could have used are miserable, shabby, rotten, and second rate.

Example Sentence #2

“Man Fires Back at Manager” by Sarah Young is about a young man who was told by his boss to “tone down his makeup”. His response? “I was quite shocked… After I refused, I’m getting told to tone it down? Excuse me? Tone it down? You can’t tone down a masterpiece.” He’s not wrong.

Anger

I was shook… After I refused, I’m getting told to tone it down? Excuse me? Tone it down? You can’t tone down a masterpiece

Slang is useful to indicate exactly how angry you are.

Joy

“I was quite surprised… After I refused, I’m getting told to tone it down? Excuse me? Tone it down? You can’t tone down fabulous.

Adjectives are useful when painting something in a positive light. Analysis of the tone can guide you to the best choices.

Disgust

“I was quite surprised… After I refused, I’m informed to reduce? Excuse me? You can’t reduce a masterpiece.”

Conclusion

Using a variety of adjectives and verbs, you can adjust the tone of any sentence. By analyzing and optimizing for a specific tone, you gain a deeper understanding of how your writing will be perceived. You ensure that you’re eliciting the desired emotions and by extension the right reaction in your audience.

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Esther Kleit

Esther Kleit

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