Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius

Housing News

How To Foreplay With Wordplay. The Science Behind The Art of Surprise, Seduction and Persuasion.

surprise_by_bobbistockWhat’s Broca and Why You Should Care?

When what we say is dirt-clod ordinary and egregiously expected, our audience becomes BORED and Love-Less!

It’s simple science.  It’s about Broca.

According to experts, marketers try to pimp-slap our conscious awareness between 3,000 to 5,000 times per day!

We’d all go insane in the membrane if all those marketing messages registered.  Our blessed brains have a built in safeguard called Broca.  The Broca area of our brain anticipates, discounts and ignores  the ordinary and predictable.  (We also use Broca to arrange our words into understandable sentences.)

When speaking or writing, imagine Broca as your audience’s muscle-bound doorman, guarding the entryway to their conscious awareness.  Mr. Broca decides if your message is worthy of attention. Broca is impressed by the surprise of the unexpected. Surprise Broca and you’re In Like Flint.

Here’s an example from Roy H. Willaims, author of the New York Times Bestseller, The Wizard Of Ads, Tools and Techniques for Profitable Persuasion.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Dirt-Clod:  “Merlot is more full bodied than Cabernet.” / Broca, yawns and the audience snores.

Diamond:  “Cabernet tastes of sunshine and rainbows, while Merlot is foggy, dark, and Gothic.”  / Broca smiles and everyone at the table scrambles for a glass of wine

If our written and spoken message is not engineered to surprise or sprinkled with unexpected shimmer, it falls on deaf ears and closed minds.  If we aren’t heard, we can’t be appreciated, approved, trusted, recommended, referred or hired.

Because the Art Of Surprise is science, anyone can learn how to surprise Broca.  With a bit of scientific savvy we can consciously do what genius-class writers and speakers do instinctively. All we need to do is foreplay with wordplay.

How To Foreplay With Wordplay

There are 3 platinum pass, big Ju-Ju, rocket-surgery secrets to surprising Mr. Broca.

1.  The Radioactive Verb Surprise

Dump dirt-clod common verbs and replace them with verbs that Glow Radioactive.  Verbs that Bam-Boom, Sizzle-Pop, Sparkle and Fizz.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Here’s how to radioactive your verb:

A.  Write like you normally do. Go ahead, clickty-clack till your done.

B.  When finished, backtrack and delete the egregiously expected and dirt-clod common verbs. If you’re imagination is stuck in neutral, don’t fret, use a Thesaurus or this handy Verb Website.  Can’t conjure  any diamonds, no worries, Cubic Zirconias will do.  Just lose the dirt-clods.

You can also use these five techniques as shared by Roy H. Williams in his Monday Morning Memo titled – Magic Words

  1. Use a noun as a verb: “Just Harley-Davidson your way to the head of the line.”
  2. Use a verb as noun: “If you can’t deliver dazzle, I’ll settle for twinkle.”
  3. Use a modifier as a verb: “He’s planning to slippery his way through the press conference.”
  4. Use a verb as a modifier: “It’s a kicking shade of pink.”
  5. Use a modifier as a noun: “I’m on the road to lethargic.”

Will you take the time to radioactivate your writing?  Try it and see how your story shimmers with new found glory.

2.  The Seussing Surprise

You’ve read Dr. Seuss, right?   Dr. Seuss in famous for his whimsical style of made up words and meter.  Turns out Broca loves Dr. Seuess’s style too.  Your message zings and Broca beams when he sees a word he’s never heard, but knows it’s meaning intuitively.

Here’s a handful example of directionally correct Seusssing Style words: Crap Sandwich, Bamboozle, Eye Candy, Shazam, Rocket-Surgery, Sheeple, Sham-Wow, Woot, Flim-Flamed, Rick-Rolled, Glarmy, Reader’s Block, Twitterrhea, Facebating, Blogger’s Butt, Shiny Object Syndrome, Punked, Blame-Storm, etc.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Are you audacious enough to go Leroy Jenkins and paint your message with unofficial word glitter?  A simple brush stroke or two will zestify even the most maddening mundaneness.  Try it.

Not convinced?  Consider long life stickiness enjoyed by the word “Strategery”.

3.  The Counter-Contextual Surprise.

We expect sales people to gush bootlick, advertisers to yammer in ad-speak, politicians to drone politician like, business people to speak stiffly-official and personality-free. When they do, and mostly they always do, we’re bored to snoredom.

Hallelujah.  When they don’t.  Broca’s ears perk cat-curious, the audience pauses, purrs and ponders what’s been shared.  When the expected is shattered with unexpected Counter-Contextual communication, eyes, ears and minds snap to attention.

This is why:

Share expectedly correct and PC proper, eye-lids leaden.  Share your story with tiny threads of unexpected irreverence, edge of the envelope off-color or counter-contextually, eyes widen and interest snaps to attention.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Telling in “drone” kills communication.  Conversationally communication engages attention.

Waxing in woo-woo platitudes sucks.  Sharing candid and direct, the good and not so good is appreciated and attracts.

Spewing ad-speak reeks insincere and is ignored.  Sharing in your own personality infused voice is comforting, engaging and interesting.

Finally, to arch the brow of your audience, think cliche’ and throw it away.

The Journey Begins One Word At A Time

Doesn’t matter how good looking, how smart, how committed, how sincere, how honest or how much we deserve success, if  our communication is dirt-clod common, we’re screwed.

Give these ideas a whirl. Be bold.  Have some fun, foreplay with wordplay.  Radioactive your verbs.  Dr. Suess surprise.   Every now and then go counter-contextual.  It’s easy, it’s free and it’s smart.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Give it whirl and see what happens.

Thanks for reading.

More If You Want Can Stand It?

If you’re full, thanks for reading, tootle-loo and I’ll see you next week.

If you want more, read on.

If you’re the cat-curious type I have some recommendations for you.

If you live in or can get to Austin, TX, run don’t walk to the Wizard Academy.  Visit their website. Check out their workshop schedule.  If you’re not sure, sign up for this FREE day long workshop.  Once you’ve attended a workshop, future classes are 1/2 off.  This class will transform your ordinary writing pen into a flaming quill. Receive monthly tips and reminders (sign-up on right hand box).   Lastly, if you want explode to your head and learn about 3rd Gravitating Bodies, Particle Stacking and Conflict, Portals and reveals and other fantastic stuff, attend this workshop.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Read Jeff SextonHere and Here

Follow/Read Copyblogger Blog

Carry a Moleskine or notepad and a pen.  When reading, look for snappy verbs, shiny sentences, glimmery work combinations and quotes that shout, when you find “stand outs”, write them down.  Start a word jewel collection.

Here’s an award winning, heart-tug  example:

The Story Of A Sign.

Click To Play

If  “we are what we eat” is accurate, so is, “we write what we read”.  Seek out and read well written books.  Here’s three recommendations:

The Book Thief.

In Cold Blood.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Half Asleep In Frog Pajamas

The Wizard of Ads, Tools and Techniques for Profitable Persuasion

There you have it…my tip of the iceberg tips.  Good luck, speed and grace.


Photo Credit

PS.  I’m not an affiliate of the Wizard Academy, I’m a simple student who believes that what’s shared there can change things for the better.  Amen.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Written By

Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.



  1. Susie Blackmon

    July 6, 2009 at 8:10 am

    You mean I should say that I’m sick of all the ‘Optimists’ opium’ and I am switching gears and following my passion (the legal one)?

  2. Joe Loomer

    July 6, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    I like posts by Ken Brand, I’m Sam I Am.

    I like them in my inbox, I like them on my puterbox, I like posts by Ken Brand – I do NOT like Green Eggs and Ham!

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  3. Paula Henry

    July 6, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    Ken – I wish I lived in Austin to take advantage of such a class. I think I will be experimenting with verbs as nouns and nouns as verbs and modifiers where ever I please. BTW – the best silent film I ever watched:)

  4. Ken Brand

    July 7, 2009 at 7:41 am

    Susie, Optimist Opium!!! Sweet. Yes follow your passion, don’t get caught. Ha, ha….thanks. You’re the real deal.

    Joe – Thanks. You’re kind.

    Paula – It’s a bummer that everyone doesn’t have access to the classes. You can sign up for their weekly Monday Morning Memo and you’ll enjoy weekly ideas. One of the things I’ve enjoyed is attending workshop/classes/events that are communication, persuasion related but not necessarily centered around real estate.

  5. Lisa Sanderson

    July 7, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Do you ever tire of being awesomeful?

  6. Jim Reppond

    July 7, 2009 at 11:13 am

    “How To Foreplay With Wordplay.” <—- I miss Snarky Girls!

    THEY knew how to foreplay With wordplay, surprise, seduce and persuade their audiences. All with effective eye-candy!

  7. Ken Brand

    July 7, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Lisa – Thanks, I’m sorta dark complected, but if you looked close right now, you’d see a shade of pink blush flicker across my face.

    Jim – The world is starved for Snarky Girls with purpose and passion. Where do they hide?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.




The American Genius is a strong news voice in the entrepreneur and tech world, offering meaningful, concise insight into emerging technologies, the digital economy, best practices, and a shifting business culture. We refuse to publish fluff, and our readers rely on us for inspiring action. Copyright © 2005-2022, The American Genius, LLC.