By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:
The experience of language and meaning isn't something bottled up in one drawer of the brain's filing system. Instead, it is something that dances across your entire brain, using the full canvas of your cerebral cortex. And that sentence is a good example. It is visual and it is active. So as you read it, your brain isn't just drawing upon the gray matter dictionary to discern and process the definition of each word and the meaning of the full sentence. Instead, your brain is using all of the regions associated with the visual and physical perceptions invoked by the words themselves: drawers, filing, dancing, painting. Scientists used to think there was something called a "language center" in a discrete region of the brain, but now know that all kinds of regions of the brain are active in response to the language used. That reality has implications for those, like legal persuaders, who use words to do their work.
One test of good language can be found in this question: Could you, if you had to, draw a picture of the sentence? If you can at least make a conceptual sketch, then you are using good visual language. If you can't, then chances are you are being too abstract. Drawing (did you catch that?) from a recent research report on National Public Radio (NPR), this post will illustrate (yes, there's another one) a few ideas for picking language that perks up your listeners' visual engagement.