Trope Workshop:Words act more than Actions

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An onomatopeia has quite the effect!

Words are sequences of phonemes and letters that come together to create languages. Communication through these sequences happens by speaking and writing words out. People have used words to show and express meaning while also being the means of communication, many things throughout human knowledge. One phrase sparks interest, which goes, “Actions speak louder than words.”, but what if there the reverse is true. Word Act More than Actions is a superpower or magic that involves words that applies their meaning to reality. The method of using this power often has to do with speaking in order to activate it. Another form would be by drawing or writing the word in some way to initiate this ability. The most potent form of this power would be to have a semantic effect from the meaning of the words; thus, the utilization of the concepts related to the words.

Examples of Words act more than Actions include:

Anime and Manga

  • Echoes ACT1, from Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, can write out an onomatopoeia in Satakana on any surface or person. If on a person or has made contact, a sound will course through the mind of a person. The Stand can also make a sentence written in Kanji, which will echo sounds that can influence a person's state of mind. However, the effect nullifies if a person has enough willpower.
    • Echoes ACI2, the evolved form of Echoes ACT 2, can write one onomatopoeia in Katakana on any surface from its tail. Once a person touched it, it will produce an effect related to the sound. An example would be Hyooo(ヒョオオ) will cause a blast wind from the surface.
  • Styles, from Medaka Box, are techniques the can create different effects by manipulating language. Each Style has a semantic outcome based on aspects of languages such as phrases, words, and even names. They are also empathetic techniques involve the feelings of other people, which means that their emotional state will determine a Styles' effectiveness.
  • Fairing, from O-Parts Hunter, is the O-Part used by Spika. It is a ring that when sound waves pass through it, the O-Part creates a giant word with characteristics related to it. An example would be the word "spike" to generate the term with spikes around it.
  • Solid Script, from Fairy Tail, is a form of Letter Magic that makes words in the air that have different effects based on them. An example would be the word "Iron", which creates the word made out of iron.
    • Orient Solid Script is similar to Solid Script but uses Kanji instead of English Words.
    • Dark Écriture is a form of magic that is a combination of Letter and Eye magic. It utilizes writing runes through a writing utensil on a person, object, or even on the air. This magic creates a 'rule', which leads to different effects based on the sentence written. An example would be inscribing runes on a living target that can inflict an immense amount of pain.
  • Ichibē Hyōsube, from Bleach, has the Zanpakuto, Ichimonji. The weapon can bee used to write Kanji that can carry an effect based on its meaning. It can also server the name from whatever it cuts, thus changing the meaning of it. An example would be if he cuts an arm, it disconnects the label, thus leading it to not being able to use the body part as an arm. He can also change the name of the target by striking them with Kanji made from Ichimonji's ink. This power will change the properties of the victim to match the name of what's written.
  • Hiro Okamura, from Konjiki no Wordmaster, has the unique magic of Word Magic. It allows him to draw Kanji and bring forth its meaning as a magical effect. It is a unique magic that does have a magical attribute and is considered a cheat. He can use a different application of Word Magic, which carries versatility and potency. It is, however, potent, along with being hard to control.
  • Doppo Kunikida, from Bungo Stray Dogs, has the ability, The Matchless Poet. This power allows him to write the name of an object on paper from his notebook that can bring it into existence. The tool cannot be anything that has more mass than the journal, which limits the items he can create.
  • Manga Fukidashi, from My Hero Academia, has the Quirk, Comic. This Quirk can materialize onomatopoeia into the real world as Katakana. The effects of these words based on the sound they represent. This superpower can give him various reactions but has a weakness as his throat becomes sore if he uses in rapid succession.
  • Kotodama Magic (or Word Soul Magic), from Black Clover, is used by the Devil, Zagred. This magic allows the user to use speech to manipulate their surrounding environment or bring physical and magical objects into reality. Through this magic, Zagred can apply this art in various ways. Examples of this is distorting space around him, healing, controlling people along with their magic, and can summon creatures from the underworld as well.
  • Tadao Yokoshima, from Ghost Sweeper Mikami, after going through training to get to his highest level, he gains the ability to create Monju. Monju are pearls with a Kanji on it that can realize the word inscribed on it. This is a surprising ability not only for the versatility but potency along with how he is a rather cowardly character along with being a pervert.

Comic Books

  • Reader, from Marvel Comics, is an Inhuman that can manifest any word he reads into reality. Even with the loss of his eyes, he can still read through braille. His power embodies the nuanced meanings of words due to the definition of language constructed. As longs as he can understand the term and concept, he can bring its effect into reality.


  • Ptah, from The Kane Chronicles, can create things by speaking their names. One instance where he made the word 'platypus' for fun, which led to the birth of platypi.

Live-Action TV

  • The Shikengers, from Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, uses the ShodoPhone that has a brush mode to write Kanji in the air that used Mojikara to create different spells. They use these phones to not only transform but can also use Kanji written with them to cast different effects to combat Gedoshu.
    • The Samurai Rangers, from Power Rangers Samurai, uses the Morphers, Samuraizers to transform along with other features. By writing Kanji in the air, they use Symbol Power to not only morph but for different effects to battle Nighloks.

Oral Tradition, Folklore, Myths and Legends

Video Games

  • Dragon Shouts, from Skyrim, or Thu'um are words made from the Dragon Language. They can be used by dragons or those with a dragon soul, such as the Dragonborn. They can be learned by reading Word Walls and needs dragon souls to be unlocked. Dragon Shouts have three levels of power based on three words. Depending on one to three terms used, determines the effectiveness or duration of the shout's effect.

Web Animation

  • Epithets, from Epithet Erased, are special powers created by a single word attached to their soul to a person known as an Inscribed. An Epithet has two parts to it, which are the word and the concept related to the term. This attribute means that an Epiphet will give their user a powerset based on it. An example is an Epithet, 'Dumb', which can dumb a person's intelligence while also being capable of creating a soundproof bubble that mutes everything inside and out. It can also reduce damage, nullify summoned objects or entities. Depending on the Epithet, it can have different abilities, especially on the aptitude and imagination of their Inscribed.

Other Media