The Power of Three, one of the key language patterns for persuasion. Winston marsh writes to me –
The power of three – Something I’ve always known and applied in my writing and speaking is the apparent power of groups of three.
For example, when describing someone just using two descriptors as in “big and bold” doesn’t sound as strong as saying “big, bold and beautiful”.
And when you think about it you’ll quickly recognise that three seems to be a magic number in many situations. From the three little pigs, the three musketeers to phrases like “ready, set, go” to (quite timely) the Olympic “faster, higher, stronger”.
One of the best users of the English language, Winston Churchill, recognised the power of three… “I have nothing to offer but blood, sweat and tears”.
So you’ll be in good company if you use the power of three where appropriate. What you write or say will get people to stop, look and listen.
Oh, and by the way, here’s part of what Wikipedia has to say about it.
“The rule of three or power of three is a writing principle that suggests that things that come in threes are funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things. The reader or audience of this form of text is also thereby more likely to remember the information. This is because having three entities combines both brevity and rhythm with having the smallest amount of information to create a pattern. It makes the author or speaker appear knowledgeable while being both simple and catchy.”
Winston Marsh – President of the Professional Speaking Association of Australia