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Chapter 3

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LesLeigh Conway

on 5 June 2018

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Transcript of Chapter 3

Chapter 3
What is language?
A language is a system of symbols (words or vocabulary) structured by grammar (rules and standards) and syntax (patterns in the arrangement of words) common to a community of people.
The Power of Words
1. Words have the power to create and label experiences.
2. Words have the power to reflect our attitudes and culture.
3. Words have the power to communicate feelings.
4. Words have the power to make and break relationships.
5. Words have the power to impact thoughts and actions. (Sapir Whorf Hypothesis)
What is the nature of language?
An Overview:
1. Words are symbols.
2. Words have meaning.
3. Words stimulate connotative and denotative meaning.
4. Words stimulate concrete and abstract meaning.
5. Words are culture-bound.
6. Words are context-bound.
Words are Culture-Bound
consists of the rules, norms, and values of a group of people that have been learned and shaped from one generation to the next.

The meaning of words can change from culture to culture.

Let's try it---
How can language be used effectively?
6 Methods to create supportive vs. defensive communication:
Understanding Verbal Communication
Chapter Preview:
Why focus on language?
What is language?
What are the characteristics of language?
How can language be used effectively?
Create and Label Experiences
One of the most powerful abilities we have is the power of naming, it classifies what we see and experience.
Weird Names
Reflect Attitude and Culture:
Friends with Benefits
Hooking up
Eye Candy
Walk of Shame
Reflect Attitude and Culture:
Language changes over time and culture.

Think about texting:
How will that be looked at in the future?
How will they know what it means?
How has it impacted our F2F communication?
Impact Thoughts and Actions:
Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
Language shapes our perceptions.
Perceptions shape our behavior.
Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis at Work at Disney World:
The language of the theater to create positive and entertaining perceptions.
Cast Members
On/Off Stage
People use words as symbols:
People attach meanings to words:
Interpret the symbols.
Example: Love
Denotative & Connotative Meanings:
Denotative- restrictive and literal
Connotative- personal and subjective
yup·pie [yuhp-ee] noun:
a young, ambitious, and well-educated city-dweller who has a professional career and an affluent lifestyle.

Concrete & Abstract Meanings:
A word is concrete if we can see it, touch it, smell it, taste it, or hear it. If we cannot, the word is abstract.
Concrete messages are more clear; abstract terms are more difficult to understand or agree upon.

Answer these questions:
1. John is a
smoker. How many packs of cigarettes does he smoke each week?
2. Pam is
too young
to get married. How old is Pam?
3. Deb's GPA is excellent. What is Deb's GPA?
4. LesLeigh lets students out
quite early
. How many minutes early do they get to leave?
Words are Context-Bound:
Symbols derive their meaning from the situation in which they are used.
Meanings are affected by the situation.
Causing us to frequently say: "My words were taken out of context!"
Are you guilty of biased language?
Race, ethnicity, nationality, and religion

Gender and sexual orientation

Age, class, and ability
Describe your own feelings rather than evaluate others.
"That's really an idiotic thing to say about him!"
"I hear you talking behind his back and it bothers me."
Help solve problems rather than control others.
"You really have a problem and you better figure it out before it's too late."
"I'm really having a problem with the way things are happening between us lately. Can you help me figure out what to do?"
Be genuine rather than manipulative.
"Just let me buy you dinner. I want to! (Because I'm going to need your help next week in moving to my new apartment)"
"You know I'm going to need your help moving, so let me buy you dinner in exchange, ok?"
Empathize rather than remain detached from others.
"Whatever. Do what you want. It's not going to affect me anyway."
"I know this is hard for you, but I think it will be good for you."
Be flexible rather than rigid toward others.
"She did what to you? You're crazy to put up with that! Dump her!"
"My experience with people who lie to me is that they typically don't change. What do you think?"
Present yourself as equal rather than superior.
"Don't forget...you work for me...so I need you to take care of this right away!"
"Well, since we work together let's see what the best approach would be..."
Another Solution:
Avoid Gunneysacking!
"You know everything you do turns out this way, remember the time you..."
"What? You're in love? Let's see, you were in love with Mark, David, and who was it last semester?"
"Why don't you care about this relationship? You forget my birthday now and last year, you forgot our anniversary!"
Why Focus on Language?
Adapt to Listeners
Code Switching
Reasons to Study Language
Words are Powerful
We Choose Language
Full transcript