Today we believe that words enable us to communicate; the word has a symbolic meaning. In ancient times, they knew a secret that words had vibratory energy contained within each sound packet.
To unlearn ordinary methods of talking with symbolic words, the Pythagorean school had initiates (students) refrain from all speech for the first five years to learn the reticence of speech, to be able to keep the schools mysteries, strengthen silence and focus on the power of each different sounds/words. Agg! Could you imagine voluntarily not speaking for five years!
One of the secrets that the Pythagorean students learned was the power within vowel sounds. In fact many early alphabets (names of god in Hebrew & Egyptian) excluded vowel sounds, as they believed them to be too stimulating. Pythagorean students observed, in their silence, where words resonated within their bodies, which chakras were activates by which sounds, and what sounds were associated with specific mental states.
Some words subtly affect physical aspects, while others have power over the emotional levels of a person. The student's were taught that energy follows thought and to grasp the intention and feeling attached to everyone's words. The symbolic meaning of a word was only its shell, there was energy and information in the sound!
Pythagoras taught that a well-modulated voice with pleasing speed could restore balance to the body and the soul. They learned to identify healing sounds of language.
Pythagoras taught students to avoid contradictions, (like awfully nice) and exaggerations saying that these vexed the astral energies. Words make thought forms that are energies that sit around us like a cloud. Ever wonder why it is unpleasant to sit next to people who always complain and have negative words???
Students of the Kabbalah practiced attaching an emotion to a word, such as love. They would feel love and then recite every alphabet of the language, while experiencing this feeling. So love would accompany all sounds coming out of their mouth.
Ancient masters used calming words to speak with stressed people and exciting sounds in their voice for those who were depressed. Subtly this energy transferred on their words and they healed people just by speaking to them. Of course their selection of healing sounds was immense, as this is only an example.