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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Language and ideas, Oral Language is contextual and fleeting

Language enlivens your ideas--the words you choose get your audience's attention, help them visualize your main points, and facilitate their ability to remember what you say. Language refers to the system of words you use to communicate with others. It is arbitrary, ambiguous, abstract, and active, characteristics that present speakers with both opportunities and challenges. 

Because language is arbitrary, audiences may interpret your words in ways you don't intend. Because language is ambiguous, consider both the connotative and denotative meanings of the words you use. Because language is abstract, consider when to discuss ideas and concepts rather than tangible objects and specific actions. Because language is active, the words you use and how you use them change over time.

Language and culture are interdependent. You learn about the meanings of words from your culture, and words help you interpret culture. Slang, jargon, idioms, euphemisms, and clichés highlight the link between language and culture. Because your audiences may not always share your cultural background, it's best to avoid these types of culture-specific words or phrases unless they're essential to the speech. You must also pay attention to gender and language when you give a speech, considering how the gender of your listeners will affect how they interpret your message. In addition, use nonsexist language to avoid alienating some members of your audience.

Spoken language differs from written language in that it is dynamic, immediate, informal, irreversible, based in narrative, and rhythmic, whereas written language is static, distant, formal, revisable, able to describe multiple facts, and rich in imagery. When you give a speech to an audience, use spoken language in an engaging, conversational manner and use audience-centered language. When you take an audience-centered approach, you put your language in context, personalize your language, use inclusive language, use visual language, and spark imagination with your language.

The language you speak determines the way you see, perceive and understand the world around you. Safir- Whorf states that we can only understand to the extent of our ability to comprehend through language. Speakers need to understand the most effective language to use to send the desired message successfully to their intended audience.

To successfully use language to engage your audience, use spoken language, choose meaningful words, balance clarity and ambiguity, strive for conciseness, avoid offensive or aggressive language, build in redundancy, and don't get too attached to your words.

Disclaimer: For Educational Use only. From varios sources and texts. No claim to be original ideas or conceptes by author.


carla parker said...


carla parker said...

language is very important. Language actual language where the correct words are used at the right time. Choosing the language for the audience is very important. Knowing two languages is great and sometimes not so much, because then you tend to mix the two for convenicenc or lack of a better word. Mixing two languages leaves alot of audiences confused. Knowing a vast amount of vocabulary to substitue for a common word is a good use of any language. Standing out and delivering a message with good language and delivery I believe leaves a memorable impression wheather it be negative or positive.

Carla Parker
comm 101
hn 117

Wendy COM 101-930 said...

I do agree having an expansive vocabulary is helpful yet it is important to not come off as pompous.

Factoring in the cultural back rounds of the listeners it might be best to stick to simple language in certain situations.

For example, if one might be speaking to a group of troubled teens then coming off as an intellect might not be the best approach to have your opinions considered.

Nick D. said...

I had no idea how much information is involved in language. It really takes a lot of practice and some strong linguistics comprehension to fully grasp the ideas and concepts presented in communications.

Rachel Shelley said...

It's definately best to talk to people on their level of understanding.

Elodie Nan said...

As far as I'm concerned,language is a very important part of communication.Language can permit us to really express our feelings, and give the possibility to the audience to feel the effects of our speech.Sometimes,language is the only way to convince or demonstrate,persuade someone.Each country in the world has his own language,communication but I think no matter where we are,what language we use,the most important is that the audience could be able to pay attention to a speech and the style.

Anonymous said...

As simple as it might sound language is underated and totally missused. We have a tendency to destroy our language by simply using it incorrectly and not even care about it. A good example of course is the over use of "slangs" sometimes it becomes completely terrifying to listen to people overly repeating them. It is totally anoying and it makes you realize how we are not making use to our best and most precious resource, our language.

Marga Bechtel