46 replies
I'm after lists of persuasive power words. Most lists out there, however, aren't that good. I need words like humilation, embarrassment, murder... not like valuable, powerful, and amazing - they're skinny words undeserving of the name "power words".

I want John Carlton's special report, but it seems I can only get that by buying $500+ courses. Any words, links, resources will be useful.
#power #words
  • Profile picture of the author Bill Jeffels
    Joshua,

    You hit the nail on the head. Power Words are very important. I bought John Carltons course a few years ago. And I studied it for months.

    Actually, recently I began going through it again. I have the "Power Words" in front of me right now.

    "Take the word 'humiliate'... no one hears that word with out having a visceral reaction. Everyone has suffered humiliation at some point. When I say in a headline that an old golfer '70 pounds over-weight and crippled with arthritis' routinely goes out and 'Humiliates' PGA professionals it creates some real drama".

    I'm not sure where you can get it other than his course... but if you can it's well worth it.

    I was going over Joe Sugarman's "Triggers" book last night for the 17th time and he has alot of emotional power words in that book.

    Take care,

    Bill Jeffels
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
      Anything from John Carlton is top-notch. If you're really strapped, you might find an older version of one of his courses on Ebay.

      I also like to use VisuWords. Visuwords online graphical dictionary and thesaurus

      Or Thesaurus.com

      Tools like these are also good for replacing any words you think you're using too frequently in a sales letter with other ones that mean the same thing.
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      • Profile picture of the author Joshua Uebergang
        Good resources. I've already started inserting them into my letters.

        Alex, I never thought of extracting Carlton's words from his works. Duh!!

        One I just discovered from a thesasurus: crippling! Oh, love it.
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      • Profile picture of the author Ross Bowring
        Originally Posted by MikeHumphreys View Post

        Anything from John Carlton is top-notch. If you're really strapped, you might find an older version of one of his courses on Ebay.
        .
        That's how I got my copy of "Kick Ass Secrets" back yonder. It was touted as a "damaged" copy if I remember right. But when it came in the mail there wasn't a single scratch on it!

        Then, the same month, I went out to buy my Chevy from a dealer's "hailstorm sale". I hit the long odds again. Not a single ding!

        I'm one lucky fool.

        --- Ross
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        • Profile picture of the author Raydal
          Originally Posted by Ross Bowring View Post

          That's how I got my copy of "Kick Ass Secrets" back yonder. It was touted as a "damaged" copy if I remember right. But when it came in the mail there wasn't a single scratch on it!

          Then, the same month, I went out to buy my Chevy from a dealer's "hailstorm sale". I hit the long odds again. Not a single ding!

          I'm one lucky fool.

          --- Ross
          LOL. Every year Yanik has a a "damaged" goods sales that you
          wonder how clumsy the stockroom people are. Of course you
          know that it's just marketing ploy.

          I love to buy refurbished electronic stuff because I know that
          they are really just as good as new.

          -Ray Edwards
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          The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
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          • Profile picture of the author Ross Bowring
            Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

            LOL. Every year Yanik has a a "damaged" goods sales that you
            wonder how clumsy the stockroom people are. Of course you
            know that it's just marketing ploy.

            I love to buy refurbished electronic stuff because I know that
            they are really just as good as new.

            -Ray Edwards
            You're right. They're very clumsy in some of these offices. And they often have bad plumbing/drainage/pipes as well. One too many floods tells me they must have had a dodgy contractor do work for them in the past.

            They need the "Holmes on Homes" HGTV crew around to check things out.

            --- Ross
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          • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
            Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

            LOL. Every year Yanik has a a "damaged" goods sales that you
            wonder how clumsy the stockroom people are. Of course you
            know that it's just marketing ploy.

            I love to buy refurbished electronic stuff because I know that
            they are really just as good as new.

            -Ray Edwards
            Ray,

            I bought a 'seconds' (damaged) VCR in 1998 and it lasted me 8 years. It only had a scratch and lasted longer that any other electronic device I had.
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            • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
              When someone mentions "power words" I cringe.

              As if dripping, sprinkling, ladling these "tried and true" "words that sell" words are one of the keys to success.

              THEY ARE NOT.

              You should be relieved. But many I submit, will defy.

              Try this idea on for a moment:

              ============================

              If you're telling a compelling story, do you use those words? Are those the "power words?"

              No, they are not. You use words that give the story integrity and authenticity.

              Those are THE power words.

              For instance, last night I was listening to an interview of Robert Young Pelton who wrote "Licensed to Kill." It's about the government using privatized, mercenarial citizens to fight wars.

              Companies like Blackwater and Triple Canopy.

              The words he used, his language--oh my goodness--he was the real deal. I may not know anything about war, but when I listened to him, he proved beyond question he walked the talk. I wanted to buy his book--just for the stories.

              =============================

              Then there are words that resonate with your market.

              These are the most important "power words." These are my favorite.

              For instance, I'm working with a gentleman who's developing an organic foods book. These organic food folks have a language all their own.

              Like most niches, they speak "in code." I am not talking jargon or acronyms. Just normal words which they, as a community, have assigned a slightly, but still powerfully different meaning.

              For instance, the word "aware." Use that word in the health-conscious, organic community and you will get a strong positive reaction.

              Why?

              You are speaking their language.

              =============================

              The idea of power words should not be underestimated, but you must know which, when and where to use them. Research is required. They will make your copy sing.

              I believe the "words that sell" power words should be used sparingly. Like you were a surgeon with a scalpel. Like a gourmet chef with a spice that makes all the difference to the dish.

              - Rick Duris
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              • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
                Like a gourmet chef with a spice that makes all the difference to the dish.
                Rick,

                Good analogy.

                A little goes a long way, if carefully chosen.

                Someone who has the belief that more is better is going to mess up the dish, big time.

                A top-notch copywriter chooses the spices that bring out the particular flavor of the ingredients, not all-purpose spices that get sprinkled heavily on everything.

                I agree with you that an infatuation with "power words" in their own right can take someone in a very wrong direction.

                Marcia Yudkin
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              • Profile picture of the author Irish Intuition
                Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

                When someone mentions "power words" I cringe.

                As if dripping, sprinkling, ladling these "tried and true" "words that sell" words are one of the keys to success.
                Huh? Are you trying to tell me by placing 13 'free' and 22 'buy now' terms around my page, sales will not increase dramatically?

                I suppose 'cash sucking' is out now too

                Damn you Mr Duris!
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                • Profile picture of the author Jag82
                  Originally Posted by IM Viper View Post


                  I suppose 'cash sucking' is out now too
                  "Sucks cash like vacuum" is okay though.
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                  • Profile picture of the author jamespitt
                    Go to Career Lab website you can see their strong words to use.
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                    Send me a PM if you want to hire top-calibre outsourced staff.

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              • "words that sell" is great resource cuase it groups the words into all sorts of catagories.
                Signature
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              • Profile picture of the author Wizardofwisdom
                Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

                When someone mentions "power words" I cringe.

                As if dripping, sprinkling, ladling these "tried and true" "words that sell" words are one of the keys to success.

                THEY ARE NOT.

                You should be relieved. But many I submit, will defy.

                Try this idea on for a moment:

                ============================

                If you're telling a compelling story, do you use those words? Are those the "power words?"

                No, they are not. You use words that give the story integrity and authenticity.

                Those are THE power words.

                For instance, last night I was listening to an interview of Robert Young Pelton who wrote "Licensed to Kill." It's about the government using privatized, mercenarial citizens to fight wars.

                Companies like Blackwater and Triple Canopy.

                The words he used, his language--oh my goodness--he was the real deal. I may not know anything about war, but when I listened to him, he proved beyond question he walked the talk. I wanted to buy his book--just for the stories.

                =============================

                Then there are words that resonate with your market.

                These are the most important "power words." These are my favorite.

                For instance, I'm working with a gentleman who's developing an organic foods book. These organic food folks have a language all their own.

                Like most niches, they speak "in code." I am not talking jargon or acronyms. Just normal words which they, as a community, have assigned a slightly, but still powerfully different meaning.

                For instance, the word "aware." Use that word in the health-conscious, organic community and you will get a strong positive reaction.

                Why?

                You are speaking their language.

                =============================

                The idea of power words should not be underestimated, but you must know which, when and where to use them. Research is required. They will make your copy sing.

                I believe the "words that sell" power words should be used sparingly. Like you were a surgeon with a scalpel. Like a gourmet chef with a spice that makes all the difference to the dish.

                - Rick Duris
                I love what you're saying ... there is no "one size fits all" in words that move us, any more than there would be in perfumes or the choices we make in how we decorate our homes.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
    Yeah, found a ton in Case Study #54 on his Simple Writing System sales page.

    Good stuff!!!
    Signature

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    Super Affiliates Hang Out Here

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  • Profile picture of the author Jag82
    Originally Posted by Joshua Uebergang View Post

    I'm after lists of persuasive power words. Most lists out there, however, aren't that good. I need words like humilation, embarrassment, murder... not like valuable, powerful, and amazing - they're skinny words undeserving of the name "power words".

    I want John Carlton's special report, but it seems I can only get that by buying $500+ courses. Any words, links, resources will be useful.
    Here are some:

    Astonishing/Astonished
    Heat pounding
    World class
    Dramatically
    Ignite/Re-ignite
    Devoted
    Replenish
    Explosive
    Accelerate
    Sizzling HOT
    Prowess
    Guaranteed
    Thrill/Thrilling
    Hyper
    Soar/Soaring
    Foolproof
    Desire/Desirable
    Ultra
    Mega
    Gargantuan
    Massive
    Devastate/Devastating
    Ripped
    Tore
    Instant
    Laser-precision/Laser-accuracy
    Plummeted
    Blunder
    Revealed
    Exposed
    Ooze
    Stunning
    Ravishing
    Blown away
    Gobsmacked
    Vicious...

    And obviously a lot more out there... =)

    But here's at least a starter...

    jag
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  • Profile picture of the author Jag82
    Originally Posted by Joshua Uebergang View Post

    I need words like humilation, embarrassment, murder... not like valuable, powerful, and amazing - they're skinny words undeserving of the name "power words".
    Hi Joshua,

    If you read through some of the top selling ads by Eugene Schwartz and Gary Halbert, you will find the word "amazing" in many of the headlines. So I'm not sure if it could be described as "skinny".

    Jag
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    • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Jag82 View Post

      Hi Joshua,

      If you read through some of the top selling ads by Eugene Schwartz and Gary Halbert, you will find the word "amazing" in many of the headlines. So I'm not sure if it could be described as "skinny".

      Jag
      Trouble with a lot of these words is they become over-used. "Amazing" doesn't have the impact it used to have, amazingly enough. Why not play with "neologisms" - newly coined words. I do it often. With "amazing" I might turn it into "Aaaamazing" or "Amazingdonchathink?" or "aMazing" - anything to have it stand out. I saw a funny one recently - hasbian, noun A former lesbian who is now in a heterosexual relationship. Also known as a wasbian.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jag82
        Originally Posted by Metronicity View Post

        Trouble with a lot of these words is they become over-used. "Amazing" doesn't have the impact it used to have, amazingly enough. Why not play with "neologisms" - newly coined words. I do it often. With "amazing" I might turn it into "Aaaamazing" or "Amazingdonchathink?" or "aMazing" - anything to have it stand out. I saw a funny one recently - hasbian, noun A former lesbian who is now in a heterosexual relationship. Also known as a wasbian.

        Ammmaazzing....that's surely some food for thought for me there. Thanks for this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jag82
    More "power words" that will literally grab you by the balls...

    Instant
    Gratifying/Gratification
    Sizzling
    Seductive/Seduction
    Dumb founded
    Thumping
    Blaze/Trail blazer
    Waltz
    Glory/Glorious
    Devour
    Merciless
    Annihilate
    Exterminate
    Eliminate
    Wipe out
    Unleash
    Fury/Furious
    Rage
    Berserk
    Maddening
    Intense
    Affection/Affectionate
    Passionate
    Manipulate
    Skyrocket
    Huge spike
    Boiling with anger
    Crumbling
    Shove
    Aggressive/Aggression
    RAW
    ....

    More to come...

    Jag
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  • Profile picture of the author Joshua Uebergang
    You made me squeal in painful delight Jag (about the balls pun). Another resource I just thought of is consuming anything Carlton writes i.e. I'm scouring his blog posts.

    Two qualities that make a power word hit the prospect hard I believe is its rarity and emotional connotation. Rage is powerful because you don't stumble upon the word often, yet it conjures an image relevant to ALL of us and the desired sales message.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jag82
      Originally Posted by Joshua Uebergang View Post

      You made me squeal in painful delight Jag (about the balls pun). Another resource I just thought of is consuming anything Carlton writes i.e. I'm scouring his blog posts.

      Two qualities that make a power word hit the prospect hard I believe is its rarity and emotional connotation. Rage is powerful because you don't stumble upon the word often, yet it conjures an image relevant to ALL of us and the desired sales message.

      Joshua, it feels good ain't it (balls)? =)

      I must admit. John Carlton is one hell of a persuasive copywriter. His copy is so mesmerizing. It can really suck you and keep you riveted. His bullets...my my my... He writes bullets so seductive, I have them all swiped to my trusty old file. And I thought I won't read better copy than Eugene Schwartz's. John Carlton's copies are at least equal in my view...

      Yes, RAGE is a powerful word. When I think "Rage", I think of Wolverine of X-man. The intense anger...and red bulging eyeballs that looks like it will explode to smithereens any moment.... =)

      Jag
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      • Profile picture of the author timmy123
        There is a free copy and paste list at top500powerwords.com

        Hope this helps,
        Timmy123
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        • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
          There is a free copy and paste list at top500powerwords.com
          Ignore this list. It's full of SAT-level mouthfuls like "amalgamation" "ascetic," "alacrity" etc. Those are words that might impress someone who never went to college, but they are NOT words with the kind of emotional kick people are talking about here.

          Marcia Yudkin
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  • Profile picture of the author SmashTweet
    The Complete Idiot's Guide to Power Words/Scott Snair - a suggestion
    Signature

    You may only be someone in the world, but to someone else, you may be the world.

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  • Profile picture of the author BrainCopy
    I have John Carlton's 'Kick-Ass Copywriting' course that I purchased about 2 months back. It came with his 'Power words' report. After I read that, my mind just kicked into overdrive! and I had a huge 'ah-ha!' moment.

    His Power Words report is worth a couple hundred alone... at least that's what I would pay.

    Just my $0.02

    Best Regards,
    Anthony
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    • Profile picture of the author Joshua Uebergang
      I posted this thread a year ago so it's nice to hear new insight into power words.

      Rick, your post about using language and terminology the market uses are power words to them was a massive insight. You helped me draw a link between my teachings in communication and writing copy. If a golfer talks to you about dog legs and thinning bunker shots, you've hit power words to them and build an instant rapport. It's powerful to them because you're using their lingo. You've communicated you understand their reality more than any sales person can with a list of stock power words.
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  • Profile picture of the author tylerdrun
    Brilliant
    Stunning
    Staggering
    Jaw-dropping
    Mind-blowing
    Masterful
    Electrifying
    Powerful
    Potent
    Compelling
    Riveting
    Explode
    Unforgettable
    Terrific
    Remarkable
    Sensational
    Splendid
    Incredible
    Superb
    Wonderful
    Awesome
    Breathtaking
    Magnificent
    Unbeatable
    Unstoppable
    Crucial
    Vital
    Critical
    A must have
    Indispensable
    Essential
    The key to
    Imperative
    Unleash
    Trigger
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  • Profile picture of the author tylerdrun
    You
    Now
    At last
    Attention
    Urgent
    New
    The only
    Exclusive
    First
    Sex
    Discover
    Unlock
    Secrets of
    If you
    Experience the
    Reveal
    Do you think
    Learn
    Startling
    Shocking
    Exhilarating
    Astonishing
    Staggering
    Frustrated
    Hurtful
    Shameful
    Humiliating
    Horribly embarrassing
    Explosive
    Amazing
    Risk-free
    Guaranteed
    Stunning
    Spectacular
    Revealing
    Did you know
    Have you
    Are you
    Wouldn't you
    Do you want
    Tired of
    Why put up
    It's time you
    How to
    Revolutionary
    Imagine
    New method
    Latest
    Important
    Would you
    Are you
    When did
    Introducing
    Genuine
    Honest
    Real
    Truthful
    Only for
    How to
    Urgent
    Warning
    Caution
    Stop
    Attention
    Finally
    Shortcuts
    Insider

    There's more but it is something you learn as you go... the source for this list: http://www.ejaculationbycommand.com/affiliates.html#9

    My list:
    Sureshot
    Surefire
    Ultra
    Tantalizing
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  • Profile picture of the author UnleashReality
    Great words but words isn't the whole story, it's how the words tickle the words around them.

    your sentences should shake out like a bedsheet.

    using slick words is well and good but emotionally affecting your readers is making music, not just hitting some impressively high notes

    respect-o
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    • Profile picture of the author mrdomains
      I´m not a fan of the generalized power-word lists or basing copy on the ideology because I feel adressing your target audience in their own lingo is more important. I also feel over-use of power-words (which I find quite common out there) within a message dilutes the power of the message as a whole.

      And yet, I accept that each target group will have a set of power words that work better than others within the specific niche. It is a dilemma

      Anyway, a couple that I use for most niches are

      kick-ass
      true
      win
      autopilot
      foolish
      trick
      magnificent
      glory
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  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

    mother****er
    You rang?

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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Rogers
      Great tip on fusing power words into your brain as part of your writing warm up.

      I recorded myself reading Carlton's power words report and I let it play when I need a spark... or I'm feeling drained, downtrodden or just plain dicked.
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  • Profile picture of the author mhdeaton
    Amazing is not a power word, its a hype word.
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    • Profile picture of the author Marvin Johnston
      Originally Posted by mhdeaton View Post

      Amazing is not a power word, its a hype word.
      Some words tend to either change their meaning or become less effective over time.

      This thread you are commenting on is about four years old .

      Marvin
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      • Profile picture of the author GlenH
        There's actually software available where you import your text (or copy of any kind).

        It will then identify words in the text where there are synonyms available, and offer up, those alternate words, plus power words. power phrases, colloquial sayings, and idioms all of which have very much the same meaning as the 'word'.

        Beats all the time it takes to troll though some book, or spreadsheet loaded with 'power words' trying to pick out suitable alternate words or phrases to use.
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        • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
          Originally Posted by GlenH View Post

          There's actually software available where you import your text (or copy of any kind).

          It will then identify words in the text where there are synonyms available, and offer up, those alternate words, plus power words. power phrases, colloquial sayings, and idioms all of which have very much the same meaning as the 'word'.

          Beats all the time it takes to troll though some book, or spreadsheet loaded with 'power words' trying to pick out suitable alternate words or phrases to use.
          If you are a good writer, you can always write better than what any piece of software will do.

          Next you're going to tell us that you use great software for copywriting...lol.
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          • Profile picture of the author GlenH
            Originally Posted by ThomasOMalley View Post

            If you are a good writer, you can always write better than what any piece of software will do. .
            Of course.....I don't deny that for one second...

            As you say, no software will ever be able write effective copy. Only the creative human mind can do that.

            Next you're going to tell us that you use great software for copywriting...lol
            The software has nothing whatsoever to do with 'writing' or 'structuring' copy in any way.

            Basically, you write and structure your own copy.

            The software analyzes the words you used in your copy, and then offers up 'suggested' more powerful and emotive words and phrases you could use in place of any dull or boring words you might have in the copy.

            The writer makes all the choices about what words are best to use for their market. Not the software.
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  • Profile picture of the author Wizardofwisdom
    Originally Posted by Joshua Uebergang View Post

    I'm after lists of persuasive power words. Most lists out there, however, aren't that good. I need words like humilation, embarrassment, murder... not like valuable, powerful, and amazing - they're skinny words undeserving of the name "power words".

    I want John Carlton's special report, but it seems I can only get that by buying $500+ courses. Any words, links, resources will be useful.
    You might find some useful power words (and phrases) by looking at NLP books. Anthony Robbins has a whole section on vocabulary in "Awaken The Giant Within" if I remember rightly and NLP is widely used in marketing and advertising these days.

    There's plenty of Richard Bandler videos on Youtube too ... he (and Robbins) are masters of using words to influence and persuade. Get Youtubing and take some notes! You may end up with your own Carltonesque report someday!
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