I was out this morning down near the station. I saw this girl coming toward me from a ways away.
Her shirt had “I heart MORE” in big letters, where the “heart” was a shape, not the word.
I thought, “hmm, that’s a pretty interesting thing to put on a t-shirt.”
But as she got closer, I noticed that inside the heart was the word “You.”
Immediately, my mind started spinning, as one’s mind tends to do when hit with one of the Milton Model language patterns, intentional or not.
In the phrase, “I love more,” the word “more” is taken to be a noun, which is short for a noun phrase as in “more something,” where the “something” is left up to the readers imagination.
In the phrase “I love you more,” the word more is a comparative adjective, where it’s left to your imagination to answer the question, “More than what? More than who?”
Now, most people spit out these kinds of vague language patterns all day long without much conscious thought. It’s generally understood from the conversation what you’re talking about.
However, when you’re persuading, they can be particularly powerful.
I’m pretty sure that when that young attractive girl bought that shirt, she didn’t realize the Milton Model impact.
Nor do I suppose that the designers put much thought into it. It’s kind of like those goofy newspaper headlines that have more than one meaning, and are clearly unintentional.
Like this one:
“Eye drops off shelf” (eye balls rolling around the store or “eye drops” being recalled?)
But guess what? That girl in the shirt caught my eye, specifically because of what was on her shirt.
Then when I saw the “other” meaning, I couldn’t help thinking about it.
And here I am writing about it, an hour or so later.
Like I said, most people spit out these language patterns without much thought.
But used consciously?
Imagine what you could do, and the thoughts you could put in other people’s minds that they’d carry around with them.
Find out how: