Verbal Communication

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Chapter 5:
Verbal Communication
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Copyright ©2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
1
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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2
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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3
Survival & Speech Organs
Survival Function
Speech Function
• Nose: To get air
for and into our
lungs
• Nose: To provide
nasal resonance in
sounds
• Lips: To seal the
oral cavity
• Lips: To form vowels
and consonants
• Larynx: To seal
the passage over
our lungs
• Larynx: To produce
vibrations for sound
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4
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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5
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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6
Quotable Quote
“Whatever else people do when
they come together—whether they
play, fight, make love, or make
automobiles—they talk. We live in
a world of language.”
Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman,
linguists
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7
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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8
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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9
Triangle of Meaning
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10
Denotation & Connotation
Denotative
Meaning
Connotative
Meaning
The objective,
dictionary-based
meaning of a
word
The personal
feeling connected
to the meaning of
a word
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11
What’s in a Name?
What does your name mean?
Example: “Dianna comes from the word
divine. Also, my grandfather’s name was
Daniel so I was sort of named after him.”
Your Name Story: _________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
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12
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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13
Abstract and Concrete
Words
Abstract Words
Concrete Words
Refer to ideas or
concepts that cannot
be observed or
touched such as
fairness, freedom,
and work.
Examples: animal,
pet, name
Refer to specific
things that can be
perceived by the
senses. Concrete
words minimize
misunderstanding.
Examples: dog,
beagle, Fido
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14
Levels of Language
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15
Fill in the Blanks
Superordinate
Term
Basic Term
Beverage
Subordinate
Term
Decaf
Cappuccino
Book
Religion
Christianity
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16
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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17
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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18
Gender-Biased Words
Gender-Biased
Term
•
•
•
•
•
•
Stewardess
Fireman
Female soldier
Mankind
_____________
_____________
Gender-Neutral
Term
•
•
•
•
•
•
Flight attendant
Firefighter
Soldier
_______________
_______________
_______________
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19
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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20
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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21
Expand Your Vocabulary
Define these Words
• Connotation ______________________
________________________________
• Abstract Word ____________________
________________________________
• Euphemism ______________________
________________________________
See the next slide.
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22
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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23
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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24
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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25
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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26
Use I and You Language
• I: Take responsibility for feelings and
actions, but don’t overuse I and
appear self-centered
• You: Don’t shift responsibility from
yourself to others. Use you to include
someone, not blame that person.
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27
Avoid Gobbledygook
• No more than 40 words in a sentence
• Only one subject per sentence
• Don’t 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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28
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