Language (Disruptive Language (Emotive Language (contains words that sound…
fact: it rains more in Seattle than in Portland
- Confusing facts and opinions
opinion: the climate in portland is better than in Seattle
fact: you interrupted me
- confusing facts and inferences
Inference: you don't care about what I have to say
contains words that sound as if they are describing something when they are really announcing the speakers attitude toward something
EX: do you like that old picture frame? if so, you would probably call it an antique. But if you think it's ugly, you might call it a piece of junk. Emotive words may sound like statements of fact but are always opinions
Euphemisms: a pleasant term substituted for a more direct but less pleasant one. EX: rather than saying turbulence, the flight attendants will say "bumpy air" instead of "turbulence" or "rain showers" instead of thunderstorm
Equivocation: vague statement that can be interpreted more than one way. They spare the receiver from the embarrassment that might come from a truthful answer.
Gender and Language
Mens speech is often driven by quite different goals than women's. Men are more likely to use language to accomplish the hob at hand than to nourish relationships. This explains why men are less likely than women to disclose their vulnerabilities, which might be considered a sign of weakness. When someone else is sharing a problem, instead of empathizing, men are prone to offer advice
Although gender is socially constructed, it is related to sex, which is biological. Men with high testosterone levels are more competitive than those with lower levels of the hormone.
Overly abstract language: most objects, events, and ideas can be described with varying degrees of specificity. Consider the material you are reading. you could call it:
- a book
- a textbook
- a communication textbook
- Understanding Human Communication
- chapter 4 of Understanding Human Communication
- page 117 of Chapter 4 of Understanding Human Communication
The best way to avoid overly abstract language is to use behavioral descriptions instead
- who is involved?
- in what circumstances does the behavior occur?
- what behaviors are involved?
Abstract language: language that lacks specificity or does not refer to observable behavior or other sensory data
Abstraction ladder: a range of more- to less- abstract terms describing an event or an object
Behavioral description: an account that refers to only observable phenomena
Convergence: accommodating ones speaking style to another person, who usually is desirable or had higher status
Divergence: a linguistic strategy in which speakers emphasize differences between their communicative style and others in order to create distance
Emotive language: language that conveys the senders attitude rather than simply offering an objective description
Equivocal words: words that have more than one dictionary definition
Equivocation: a vague statement that can be interpreted in more than one way
Euphemism: a pleasant sounding term used in place of a more direct but less pleasant one
Factual statement: a statement that can be verified as being true or false
Inferential statement: a conclusion arrived at from an interpretation of evidence
Jargon: the specialized vocabulary that is used as a kind of shorthand by people with common backgrounds and experience
Language: a collection of symbols, governed by rules and used to convey messages between individuals
Linguistic relativism: a moderate form of linguistic determinism that argues that language exerts a strong influence on the perceptions of the people who speak it
Linguistic intergroup bias: the tendency to label people and behaviors in terms that reflect their in-group or out-group status
Opinion statement: a statement based on the speakers beliefs
Phenological rules: linguistic rules are combines to form words
Pragmatic rules: rules that govern how people use language in everyday interaction
Relative words: words that gain their meaning by comparison
Semantic rules: rules that govern the meaning of language as opposed to its structure
Sex role: the social orientation that governs behavior, in contrast to a persons biological gender
Slang: language used by a group of people whose members belong to a similar culture or group
Symbols: arbitrary constructions that represent a communications thoughts
Syntactic rules: rules that govern the ways in which symbols can be arranged as opposed to the meanings of those symbols
along with biology, social norms shape the way men and women communicate. In contemporary society, power and material success have been widely regarded as measures of success and courses of prestige. In most societies, males have been expected to serve as the providers in this regard. By contrast, women have historically had less overt power and occupied nurturing roles.
Euphemisms come from the Greek word meaning "to use words of good omen" We use euphemisms when a pleasant term is substituted for a more direct but less pleasant one. I found it really interesting that flight attendants and pilots use euphemisms to avoid upsetting nervous flyers. They say "bumpy air" instead of "turbulence" and "rain showers" instead of "thunderstorms." I myself am a nervous flyer and this was particularly interesting to me because it really shows how the smallest changes in words can affect our mood and reaction.