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Chapter 5: Verbal Communication

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Quotable Quote
The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter tis the difference between the lightening bug and the lightening.
Mark Twain
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PowerPoint Quiz
Researchers estimate that the first humans to speak language as we know it lived in East Africa __________ years ago.
A. B. C. D. E. 25,000 50,000 150,000 500,000 1,000,000
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Survival & Speech Organs


Survival Function
Nose: To get air for and into our lungs Lips: To seal the oral cavity Larynx: To seal the passage over our lungs

Speech Function
Nose: To provide nasal resonance in sounds Lips: To form vowels and consonants Larynx: To produce vibrations for sound

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Survival & Speech Organs


Survival Function Speech Function
Lungs: To Lungs: To supply exchange carbon air for speech dioxide and oxygen Teeth: To break up Teeth: To articulate food consonants Tongue: To move food to teeth and throat Tongue: To form vowels and consonants
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Human Language
Language
A system of arbitrary signs and symbols used to communicate thoughts and feelings
There are 5,000-6,000 spoken languages. All languages have grammatical rules to describe how words should be arranged, modified, and even punctuated.
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Quotable Quote
Whatever else people do when they come togetherwhether they play, fight, make love, or make automobilesthey talk. We live in a world of language.
Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, linguists

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Signs and Symbols


Sign An image that stands for or represents something specific and often looks like or depicts the thing it represents Symbol An arbitrary collection of sounds that in certain combinations stand for concepts
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Signs
A sign stands for or represents something specific and often looks like or depicts the thing it represents.

What do these signs mean?

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Triangle of Meaning

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Denotation & Connotation


Denotative Meaning
The objective, dictionary-based meaning of a word

Connotative Meaning
The personal feeling connected to the meaning of a word

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Whats in a Name?
What does your name mean?
Example: Dianna comes from the word
divine. Also, my grandfathers name was Daniel so I was sort of named after him.

Your Name Story: _________________


___________________________________ ___________________________________

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Define pig
Denotative Meaning
Domestic swine with short legs, cloven hooves, bristly hair, and a snout used for digging

Connotative Meanings
A greedy and gross person ________________ ________________ ________________ _________________

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Abstract and Concrete Words


Abstract Words
Refer to ideas or concepts that cannot be observed or touched such as fairness, freedom, and work. Examples: animal, pet, name

Concrete Words
Refer to specific things that can be perceived by the senses. Concrete words minimize misunderstanding. Examples: dog, beagle, Fido
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Levels of Language

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Fill in the Blanks


Superordinate Term Basic Term Subordinate Term

Beverage Book

Decaf Cappuccino

Religion

Christianity

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The Whorf Hypothesis


Language reflects cultural models of the world, which, in turn, influence how we think, act, and behave. Do words such as fireman and policeman lead us to view these as jobs for men?

Do firefighter and police officer change these perceptions?


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Language and Culture


Vocabulary Example: ___________________________ ___________________________________ Use of pronouns Example: English is the only language that capitalizes the word meaning I in writing. Verbal directness Example: ___________________________ ___________________________________
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Language and Gender


Women tend to use language that maintains relationships and to cooperate with others.
Tag questions (Right? Is that okay?) Superpolite forms (Please; Would you mind?) Hedges (like, you know, kind of)

Men tend to use more direct and forceful language to assert their ideas and compete with others.
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Gender-Biased Words
Gender-Biased Term
Stewardess Fireman Female soldier Mankind _____________ _____________

Gender-Neutral Term
Flight attendant Firefighter Soldier _______________ _______________ _______________
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Do Women Talk More Than Men?


Whats your answer? Justify your answer. How does your answer affect how much you talk? How, if at all, will knowing the right answer affect how you talk in the future?
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Code Switching
The ability to modify your verbal and nonverbal communication and adopt the language of the majority in a particular situation People learn code switching to avoid negative stereotypes about them based on their accent or dialect.
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Language Difficulties
Bypassing Example: I said hold the check until next Monday, not this Monday.
Example: _________________ __________________________ Example: _________________ __________________________

Exclusionary Language Offensive Language

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Change the Sentence


Shes a well-preserved, little old lady. __________________________________ Hes an activist, right-wing judge. __________________________________ Hes a victim of prostate cancer. __________________________________ A cute little girl waited on us at the Oriental restaurant. __________________________________
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Which Saying Is True?


Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones, but Words Can Hurt Forever.
Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones, but Words Will Never Hurt Me.

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PowerPoint Quiz
Why do people swear?
A. Swearing is lazy language thats easy to call on. B. Swearing can be fun if its used humorously in the right company. C. Friends and/or colleagues do it. D. Swearing helps emphasize a point. E. All of the above

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How to Avoid Cursing


Use alternatives such as darn or heck. Take out the swear word. Who cares? not Who the @%*$ cares? Look for better, more interesting words. This place is a mess, not This place looks like *&%$! Describe, dont accuse: I think thats an exaggeration not Thats a f***ing lie.

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Improve Your Way with Words


Expand Your Vocabulary Use Oral Language Use Active Language Use I and You Language Use Grammatical Language

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Expand Your Vocabulary


Define these Words
Connotation ______________________ ________________________________ Abstract Word ____________________ ________________________________ Euphemism ______________________ ________________________________ See the next slide.
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Expand Your Vocabulary


Connotation. The emotional responses
and personal thoughts connected to the meaning of a word.

Abstract Words. Words that refer to an


idea or concept that cannot be directly observed or touched.

Euphemism. A mild, indirect, or vague


word or phrase that substitutes for a harsh, blunt, or offensive one.
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Use Oral Language


Use shorter familiar words. Example: home rather than residence Use shorter, simpler sentences. Example: He came back rather than He returned from his point of departure. Use more informal colloquial expressions. Example: Give it a try rather than You should attempt it.
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Use Active Language


Active Voice
The subject performs the action. An active voice makes your message more engaging.

Passive Voice
The subject receives the action. A passive voice takes the focus away from the subject of your sentence.

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PowerPoint Quiz
Identify the passive-voice sentence:
A. Independence was brought to the colonies by the Continental Congress. B. The Continental Congress met in Philadelphia in 1776. C. The Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence. D. Thomas Jefferson wrote most of the Declaration of Independence.
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Use I and You Language


I: Take responsibility for feelings and actions, but dont overuse I and appear self-centered You: Dont shift responsibility from yourself to others. Use you to include someone, not blame that person.

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Avoid Gobbledygook
No more than 40 words in a sentence Only one subject per sentence Dont include information just because you know it. What does the listener need to know? Shorter words and phrases such as now rather than at the present time
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Communication Assessment
Writing Apprehension Test (WAT)
Indicate the degree to which each statement applies to you by marking whether you (1) strongly agree, (2) agree, (3) are uncertain about, (4) disagree, or (5) strongly disagree.
__ 3. __ 9. __ 18. __ 20. I look forward to writing down my ideas. I like to have my friends read what Ive written. I dont think I write as well as other people write. Im not good at writing.

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TEST Your Knowledge


Which of the following words would be classified as a superordinate term? A. liquid B. water C. wine D. ocean E. Caribbean Sea
See p. 105 for more review questions.

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