But just because that is what they say first off, that does not mean that it reflects the true picture.

Wired Words by Steve Morris, published by Prentice Hall PTR (ISBN 0273650904)

Wired Words does not start well. If you find an introduction that finishes with a slogan such as: "language is the new corporate identity" alarm bells ring, particularly when the book is one of those new business books for the new millennium series with the attendant website:

It is obviously patent nonsense to say that language is the new anything. Identity, marketing, branding, positioning – whatever we want to call it – has always been intrinsically linguistic. Words are the ways in which those processes work and those relationships are secured.

To be fair to Morris, it might be the case that his editor demanded some aphorism for the blurb.

Picking up on the latest vogue for adding the word "relationship" to any business theory, Morris calls for "relationship writing". "Listen as well as talk" we are advised. Page layouts scattered with nice accessible pull quotes such as this are admonishing, evangelising and occasionally patronising.

But the format works. One does form a relationship with his writing and his message, and in some ways his chapters of practical advice are not as powerful as the book as a whole. It shows that language can be inclusive and powerful in getting across a message and pulling a reader into a relationship with the author.

Language may not the new identity but Morris offers an accessible account and demonstration of the fact that it has always been its foundation.