Trade and industry associations make up an important part of our area's economy, and they make a lot of news. So I try to keep an eye on them.

Many association executives read Association Trends , a weekly news magazine tailored to their interests.

In a recent issue, Trends reported that a study by experts had indentified the 12 most persuasive words in the English language. They were listed as: "money, save, new, you, results, health, safety, easy, guarantee, discovery, proven and love."

The magazine suggests that if the research is valid, this headline ought to get almost everybody's attention: "If you love to save money safely, get Plorg - the proven health discovery for guaranteed, easy results."

I was pleased to find "love" included in the list, but surprised to learn that "sex" is no longer considered the eye-catcher it once was.

Trends also mentions that public relations people and advertising copy writers are wondering how the study managed to overlook "free," which along with "new," was long considered one of "the best-selling words in the language."

The article does not mention that although "new" is still on the list, it has suffered a setback. It has been subjected to the advertising copy writer's supreme insult by being written without an exclamation point.

In published advertisements, "new" is supposed to be written "NEW!" and must (I think it's a federal law) be followed by "IMPROVED!" In radio and TV commercials, the announcer gets the capital letters and the exclamation points across with his voice.