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When communicating with others both formally (giving a speech) and informally (catching up with your best friend) it is important to be aware of who is receiving your message

When communicating with others both formally (giving a speech) and informally (catching up with your best friend) it is important to be aware of who is receiving your message

Words Words Words!

When communicating with others both formally (giving a speech) and informally (catching up with your best friend) it is important to be aware of who is receiving your message. Communicators who fail to understand who their listeners are run the risk of failing to reach the goals they have intended for the communication event. Therefore, it is important to provide the proper context, tone, and language suitable to person/s you are addressing.

Several things about language from Chapter 3.2 are important to keep in mind for this assignment.

  1. Slang

In chapter 3.2, “slang refers to new or adapted words that are specific to a group, context, and/or time period; regarded as less formal; and representative of people’s creative play with language.” (Communication in the Real World) You only want to use slang if the intended receiver is  familiar with it. For example, don’t use slang in a speech given to the mayor or in a conversation with someone who does not share your native language.  However, slang may or may not be appropriate in a speech intended for an audience of college students or in a conversation with your best friend.

  1. Accountability and Facts and Inferences

Use sources and information that your receivers will find believable and credible. Clearly state facts as facts, and inferences as inferences. “Inferences are conclusions based on thoughts or speculation, but not direct observation. Facts are conclusions based on direct observation or group consensus.” (3.3, Communication in the Real World)

  1. The Ladder of Abstraction and Descriptive Words

In chapter 3.2, “the Ladder of Abstraction is defined as a model that is used to illustrate how language can range from concrete to abstract”. (Communication in the Real World). The lower you are on the ladder the more descriptive your words are. Descriptive words bring an unclear concept alive and gives it substance. It leaves an impression. It clarifies in imagery what words might never truly express. This type of language requires a little bit of forethought but is well worth the time and effort. This is the secret to making your message come alive with meaning. Descriptive language appeals to the senses; smell, touch, sight, and sound.


  1. Read Chapter 3.2
  2. Download the Words Words Words! Worksheet and complete the three exercises.
  3. Submit the Words Words Words! Worksheet  here for a grade.

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