Thursday, June 16, 2011

If Only There Was An Alternative

Language is how we share information, between people, organizations, and within ourselves. Language, unfortunately, is not perfect.

Words make up a large portion of language, that most obvious portion, and yet not the most important part. They convey a specific message, verbalizing non-verbal ideas. This conversion to non-verbal and non-concrete to verbal and concrete is imperfect, and will always be imperfect.

Tone as well as inflection are always associated with words, and though less conscious attention is applied to them, they are treated with greater importance. Tone and inflection go hand-in-hand, controlling how we say words, allowing us to differentiate between questions that should be answered and those that are rhetorical, or between serious, joyful, and sarcastic moods.

Body language is also important, though many people are making the false assumption that it is becoming less so in this increased technological society, where less and less communication and language-exchange is taking place face-to-face. Body language does indeed exist in digital communication, largely in the form of grammar, punctuation, and word choice.

All of these things come together to create the message that we are putting out, and come apart to present us the message we are receiving. With all these different levels of communication, is it any small wonder that we have so much trouble understanding each other?