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DeVito TICB 14e Instructor’s Manual CHAPTER FOUR: VERBAL MESSAGES CHAPTER OBJECTIVES Once you have read this chapter, you will be able to: 4.1 Paraphrase the principles of verbal messages that define how verbal messages work in interpersonal communication. 4.2 Explain, and apply in your own communication, the guidelines for avoiding the major misuses of verbal language: intentional orientation, allness, fact-inference confusion, indiscrimination, polarization, and static evaluation. The words we use reflect our perceptions. Meanings are not in words, they are in people, and our word choices are very important. This chapter looks at the principles of verbal messages as well as guidelines for using verbal messages effectively CHAPTER OUTLINE I. Principles of Verbal Messages–messages sent by words, both oral and written. A. Messages are Packaged - Verbal and nonverbal messages reinforce each other. B. Message Meanings are in People - You don’t receive meaning, you create meaning. Words don’t mean, people mean. C. Meanings are Denotative and Connotative 1. Denotation—the objective definition of a word, a general or universal meaning. The best example might be the dictionary definition of a word. 2. Connotation—the subjective or emotional meaning of a word; a personal and less precise meaning. a. Snarl words–highly negative. b. Purr words–highly positive. 3. Metacommunication: The Ability to Talk about Your Talk—Verbal messages may refer to the objects and events in the world, but also to itself. D. Messages Vary in Abstraction–most often, the least abstract term is the most effective but there are times a more abstract word is preferable. E. Messages Vary in Politeness 1. We have two needs: the desire to be viewed positively by others and the desire to be autonomous. Politeness allows others to maintain both positive and negative face. To help another maintain positive face, we speak respectfully to them. To help them maintain negative face, we request they do things rather than demand. Copyright © 2016, 2013, 2009 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. 51 DeVito TICB 14e Instructor’s Manual 2. Politeness and Directness–indirect messages are seen as more polite but may lack authority. a. Indirect messages can allow you to ask for compliments in a socially acceptable way. b. Women are often more indirect and polite than men. 3. Politeness in Inclusion and Exclusion–inclusive message include all people while exclusive messages involve the use of in-group language to exclude an out-group member. Some words are more inclusive than others: place of worship instead of church, committed relationship instead of marriage, etc. 4. Politeness Online–the Internet has specific rules of politeness, called netiquette. F. Theories of Gender Differences—there are three broad sets of reasons or theories to explain gender differences in communication. 1. Biological Differences 2. Socialization 3. Social Power G. Working with Theories and Research 1. Messages can be onymous (“signed”) or anonymous (the author is not identified). 2. Message meanings can deceive. a. Lying is the act of sending messages with the intention of giving another person information you believe to be false. It requires reception by another person and it must be intentional. b. There are 4 types of lies: i. Pro-social deception: to achieve some good—these are lies that are designed to benefit the person lied to or about. Some are expected and it would be impolite not to tell them. It is the major type of lie children tell. ii. Self-enhancement deception: to make yourself look good—these can be impression-management techniques. iii. Selfish deception: to protect yourself—these lies might hurt others but they might also be used to protect the relationship. iv. Antisocial deception: to harm someone—an example would be falsely accusing someone. H. Messages Vary in Assertiveness—it refers to speaking your mind and stating your opinions to others. Assertive people are more positive and score lower on measures of hopelessness. It varies according to culture with more competitive cultures valuing it. Copyright © 2016, 2013, 2009 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. 52 DeVito TICB 14e Instructor’s Manual 1. Analyze assertive communication – learn the difference between assertive, aggressive, and nonassertive messages. 2. Rehearse assertive communications – use desensitization techniques. 3. Communicate assertively: I. Messages can Confirm and Disconfirm 1. Disconfirmation – A communication pattern in which you ignore a person’s presence and his/her communication. It can lead to a loss of self-esteem. It is not the same as rejection. 2. Confirmation – You acknowledge the other person and accept him/her. It can lead to an increase of self-esteem and a reduction of apprehension in the classroom. 3. Offensive language is a type of disconfirmation and includes: a. Racism – language that places a racial group in an inferior position. It can be both individual and institutional. Racist language expresses racist attitudes. b. Heterosexism – language that disparages lesbians and gay men. It can be both individual and institutional. c. Ageism – prejudice against any age group, but usually older citizens. Can be both individual and institutional. d. Sexism 4. Avoid racist, heterosexist, ageist and sexist listening. Don’t set up barriers but only take these factors into account when they are relevant to the topic. J. Messages Vary in Cultural Sensitivity—Examine cultural identifiers that change over time. 1. Race and nationality – African-American is generally preferred over Black; Hispanic is used to refer to someone from a Spanish-speaking culture, Latina/Latino refers so someone from a Latin American country. Mexican American is preferred over Chicana/Chicano. Inuk is preferred to Eskimo, Use Native American instead of Indian, Jewish people instead of Jew, Asians instead of Orientals. 2. Affectional Orientation – Gay and Lesbian go beyond sexual orientation and refer to self-identification. 3. Age—older person is preferred to elderly, senior, senior citizen. 4. Sex—avoid “boy” and “girl”, except in reference to young children. Ma’am may be offensive in some contexts. Address transgendered people as their self-identified sex. II. Guidelines for Using Verbal Messages Effectively A. Extensionalize: Avoid Intensional Orientation Copyright © 2016, 2013, 2009 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. 53 DeVito TICB 14e Instructor’s Manual 1. Intensional orientation—refers to the tendency to view people, objects, and events in terms of how they are talked about or labeled rather than in terms of how they actually exist. 2. Extensional orientation (the opposite of intensional orientation) is the tendency to look first at the actual people, objects, and events, and only then at the labels. B. See the Individual: Avoid Allness 1. Allness–failing to recognize the world as infinitely complex; thinking you know all there is to know about something. 2. An example of a “nonallness” attitude is reflected in a quote from British Prime Minister Disraeli that, “to be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step toward knowledge.” 3. Correcting allness C. Distinguish Between Facts and Inferences: Avoid Fact-Inference Confusion 1. Fact-inference confusion–is what happens when you act on inferences as if they were facts, a barrier to clear thinking. 2. Factual statement – a statement about something you observe. 3. Inferential statement – a statement that you make on the basis of what you observe plus your own conclusions. D. Discriminate Among: Avoid Indiscrimination 1. Indiscrimination – occurs when you focus on classes of individuals, objects, or events and fail to see the uniqueness of the individual. 2. Everything is unique, and yet language provides common nouns, which lead you to group individuals into categories. E. Talk about the Middle: Avoid Polarization 1. Polarization is the fallacy of “either-or,” the tendency to look at the world and describe it in terms of extremes. Examples: a. “Are you for us, or against us?” b. “You’ll either love it or hate it.” c. “He is against the war while she is for the war.” 2. Polarization keeps us from thinking about the middle ground. F. Update Messages: Avoid Static Evaluation 1. Static evaluation – when you retain an evaluation of a person, despite the inevitable changes in the person. Copyright © 2016, 2013, 2009 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. 54 DeVito TICB 14e Instructor’s Manual KEY TERMS abstraction ageism ageist language allness anonymous assertiveness confirmation connotation cultural identifiers denotation disconfirmation extensional orientation fact–inference confusion heterosexist language indiscrimination intensional orientation lying metacommunication negative face onymous polarization politeness positive face racist language rejection sexist language static evaluation verbal messages APPLICATIONS AND EXERCISES Identifying the Barriers to Communication Here is a brief dialogue written to illustrate the various barriers to communication discussed in this chapter as they might apply to interpersonal relationships. Try identifying the barriers illustrated. Also think about why these statements establish barriers, and how the people in the dialogue might have avoided the barriers. PAT: Look, do you care about me or don’t you? If you do, then you’ll go away for the weekend with me as we planned originally. CHRIS: I know we planned to go, but I got this opportunity to put in some overtime, and I really need the extra money. PAT: Look, a deal is a deal. You said you’d go, and that’s all that really matters. CHRIS: Pat! You never give me a break, do you? I just can’t go; I have to work. PAT: All right, all right. I’ll go alone. CHRIS: Oh, no you don’t. I know what will happen. PAT: What will happen? CHRIS: You’ll go back to drinking again. I know you will. PAT: I will not. I don’t drink anymore. CHRIS: Pat, you’re an alcoholic and you know it. PAT: I am not an alcoholic. CHRIS: You drink, don’t you? Copyright © 2016, 2013, 2009 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. 55 DeVito TICB 14e Instructor’s Manual PAT: Yes, occasionally. CHRIS: Occasionally? Yeah, you mean two or three times a week, don’t you? PAT: That’s occasionally. That’s not being an alcoholic. CHRIS: Well, I don’t care how much you drink or how often you drink. You’re still an alcoholic. PAT: Anyway, what makes you think I’ll drink if I go away for the weekend? CHRIS: All those weekend ski trips are just excuses to drink. I’ve been on one of them—remember? PAT: Well, see it your way, my dear. See it your way. I’ll be gone right after I shower. [Thinking: I can’t wait to get away for the weekend.] CHRIS: [Thinking: Now what have I done? Our relationship is finished.] How Do You Talk? As a Woman? As a Man? Consider how you would respond in each of these situations if you were a typical woman or man. 1. A supervisor criticizes your poorly written report and says that it must be redone. 2. An associate at work tells you she may be HIV+ and is awaiting results of her blood tests. 3. You see two preteen neighborhood children fighting in the street; no other adults are around and you worry that they may hurt themselves. 4. An elderly member of your family tells you that he has to go into an old age home. 5. A colleague confides that she was sexually harassed and doesn’t know what to do. 6. You’re fed up with a neighbor who acts decidedly unneighborly—playing the television at an extremely high volume, asking you to watch their two young children while they do shopping, and borrowing things they rarely remember returning. Compare your responses with others and try to draw a profile of the following: a. The typical woman as seen by women. b. The typical woman as seen by men. c. The typical man as seen by men. d. The typical man as seen by women. Consider the reasons for the profiles. For example, were the profiles drawn on the basis of actual experience? Popular stereotypes in the media? Evidence from research studies? How do these perceptions of the way women and men talk influence actual communication between women and men? Copyright © 2016, 2013, 2009 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. 56 DeVito TICB 14e Instructor’s Manual Recognizing Gender Differences One of the best ways to start thinking about gender differences in language is to think about your own beliefs. The following self-test will help. Gender Differences Here are ten statements about the "differences" between the speech of women and men. For each of the following statements, indicate whether you think the statement describes women’s speech (W), men’s speech (M), or women and men’s speech equally (=). 1. This speech is logical rather than emotional. 2. This speech is vague. 3. This speech is endless, less concise, and jumps from one idea to another. 4. This speech is highly businesslike. 5. This speech is more polite. 6. This speech uses weaker forms (for example, the weak intensifiers like so and such) and fewer exclamations. 7. This speech contains more tag questions (for example, questions appended to statements that ask for agreement, such as "Let's meet at ten o'clock, OK?"). 8. This speech is more euphemistic (contains more polite words as substitutes for some taboo or potentially offensive terms) and uses fewer swear terms. 9. This speech is generally more effective. 10. This speech is less forceful and less in control. After responding to all ten statements, consider the following: (1) On what evidence did you base your answers? (2) How strongly do you believe that your answers are correct? (3) What do you think might account for sex differences in verbal behavior? That is, how did the language differences that might distinguish the sexes, come into existence? (4) What effect might these language differences (individually or as a group) have on communication (and relationships generally) between the sexes? Do not read any further until you have responded to the above statements and questions. The ten statements were drawn from the research of Cheris Kramarae (1974a, 1974b, 1977, 1981; also see Coates and Cameron 1989), who argues that these "differences"— with the exception of statements 5 and 8 (research shows that women's speech is often more "polite")—are actually stereotypes of women and men's speech, which are not confirmed in analyses of actual speech. According to Kramarae, then, you should have answered "Women and Men's Speech Equally" (=) for statements 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, and 10, and "Women's Speech" (W) for statements 5 and 8. Perhaps we see these "differences" in the media and believe that it accurately reflects real speech. Copyright © 2016, 2013, 2009 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. 57 DeVito TICB 14e Instructor’s Manual Reexamine your answers to the above ten statements. Were your answers based on your actual experience with the speech of women and men or might they have been based on popular beliefs (or myths) about women and men's speech? Thinking with E-Prime The expression E-prime (E’) refers here to the mathematical equation E - e = E' where E = the English language and e = the verb to be. E', therefore, stands for normal English without the verb to be. D. David Bourland, Jr. (1965-1966; Wilson 1989) argued that if you wrote and spoke without the verb to be, you’d describe events more accurately. [A symposium of 18 articles on E-prime appears in the summer 1992 issue of ETC.: A Review of General Semantics.] The verb to be often suggests that qualities are in the person or thing rather than in the observer making the statement. It’s easy to forget that these statements are evaluative rather than purely descriptive. For example, when you say, "Johnny is a failure," you imply that failure is somehow within Johnny instead of a part of someone’s evaluation of Johnny. This type of thinking is especially important in making statements about yourself. When you say, for example, "I'm not good at mathematics" or "I'm unpopular" or "I'm lazy," you imply that these qualities are in you. But these are simply evaluations that may be incorrect or, if at least partly accurate, may change. The verb to be implies a permanence that is simply not true of the world in which you live. To appreciate further the difference between statements that use the verb to be and those that do not, try to rewrite the following sentences without using the verb to be in any of its forms—is, are, am, was, etc. 1. I'm a poor student. 2. They’re inconsiderate. 3. What is meaningful communication? 4. Is this valuable? 5. Happiness is a dry nose. 6. Love is a useless abstraction. 7. This website is meaningless. 8. Was the movie any good? 9. Dick and Jane are no longer children. 10. This class is great. Copyright © 2016, 2013, 2009 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. 58 DeVito TICB 14e Instructor’s Manual “Must Lie” Situations In an episode of Seinfeld, the group visits a friend who just had a baby, the ugliest baby anyone has ever seen. But everyone, of course, tells the parents the baby is beautiful, even breathtaking. It’s a “must lie” situation and the parents will never know that their baby is not only not beautiful, but downright ugly. Can you identify other “must lie” situations where lying seems the only socially acceptable response? Try recording these using the following chart: Liar. Who must lie? Situation. What is the occasion that prompts the “must lie” situation? Target. Who is the person who must be lied to? Purpose. What is the purpose of the lie? What would happen if the truth were told? What does the liar hope to achieve by lying? 1. 1. 1. 1. 2. 2. 2. 2. 3. 3. 3. 3. 4. 4. 4. 4. 5. 5. 5. 5. What ethical issues are involved in such situations? That is, can any of these lies be considered unethical? Can the failure to lie in any of these situations be considered unethical? Climbing the Abstraction Ladder The "abstraction ladder" is a device to illustrate the different levels of abstraction on which different terms exist. Notice that as you go from "animal" to "pampered white toy poodle" you’re going down in terms of abstraction, you’re getting more and more specific. As you get more specific, you more clearly communicate your own meanings and more easily direct the listener's attention to what you wish. For each of the terms listed below, indicate at least four possible terms that indicate increasing specificity. The first example is done for you. Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 more specific than 1 more specific than 2 more specific than 3 more specific than 4 Copyright © 2016, 2013, 2009 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. 59 DeVito TICB 14e Instructor’s Manual house brick house large brick house brick mansion governor’s mansion desire car toy magazine sports The general suggestion for effective communication is to use abstractions sparingly and to express your meanings specifically with words that are low in abstraction. However, are there situations when terms high in abstraction would be more effective than specific terms? How would you describe advertisements for cosmetics in terms of high and low abstraction? Advertisements for cereals? Advertisements for cat and dog food? How would you describe political campaign speaking in terms of abstraction? Using the Abstraction Ladder as a Critical Thinking Tool To gain a different perspective on a question, vary its level of abstraction. For example, if your problem is "How can I write better progress reports?" you might gain a different perspective by asking questions at higher and lower levels of abstraction: Higher level of abstraction: How can I become a more effective writer? Original question: How can I write better progress reports? Lower level of abstraction: How can I write better openings for these reports? Notice that the level of abstraction on which you phrase your question influences the answers you generate. The higher-level question focuses attention on improving writing in general; sentence length, organizational strategies, writing dialogue, and the like are possible directions this question suggests. The lower level question focuses attention on a more specific area and might suggest previewing summary recommendations, opening with questions, or identifying the objectives of the report. Try generating different perspectives by phrasing higher and lower level abstractions for each of these questions: How can I become a better relationship partner? How can I become a better listener? How can I become more popular with my peers? Copyright © 2016, 2013, 2009 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. 60 DeVito TICB 14e Instructor’s Manual How Can You Vary Directness for Greatest Effectiveness? Rephrase each of the following indirect statements into direct ones and then identify the advantages and the disadvantages of both the direct and the indirect versions.  I’m so bored; I have nothing to do tonight.  Do you feel like hamburgers tonight?  I’m wondering if I should ask for a raise?  No one seemed to like the movie.  Horizontal stripes make some people look heavy. How Can You Rephrase Clichés? Clichés are expressions whose meaning has become worn out from excessive usage. Many clichés are also idioms—expressions whose meanings are not easily deduced from the individual words but which must be understood as a single linguistic unit, much like a single word. Thus, in using clichés you betray a lack of originality. And, when they’re idioms, they can easily create special problems for non-native speakers of the language. The clichés and idioms listed below will provide a useful opportunity to practice your abilities to use language effectively. Rephrase each of these clichés/idioms, so that they are—following the guidelines for language given in this chapter—clear, vivid, appropriate, personal, and forceful.  It's a blessing in disguise.  You have to take the bitter with the sweet.  Her problem was that she burnt the candle at both ends.  What can I add? That's the way the cookie crumbles.  He meant well but he drove everyone up the wall.  So, I told her: either fish or cut bait.  He just has to get his act together.  She has a heart of gold.  I talked and talked but it was in one ear and out the other.  Lighten up; keep your shirt on.  He let it slip through his fingers.  That Stephen King movie will make your hair stand on end.  Well, it's easy being a Monday-morning quarterback.  Don't put all your eggs in one basket.  It's just water over the dam. Copyright © 2016, 2013, 2009 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. 61 DeVito TICB 14e Instructor’s Manual  He ran out with his tail between his legs.  They gave the detective a real snow job.  It was fun but it wasn't what it was cracked up to be.  I was so excited I had my heart in my mouth.  Wow, you're touchy. Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed? Who? The purpose of this exercise is to explore some of the verbal and nonverbal cues you give that others use in forming assumptions about you. The exercise should serve as a useful summary of the concepts and principles both of verbal and nonverbal communication and of perception. The entire class should form a circle so that each member may see each other member without straining. If members do not know each other’s names, some system of name tags should be used. Each member should examine the following list of phrases and write in the column labeled “Who?” the name of one student to whom he or she feels each statement applies. Be certain to respond to all statements. Although one name may be used more than once, the experience will prove more effective if a wide variety of names are chosen. Unless the class is very small, no name should be used more than four times. After each student has recorded the names for each statement, the following procedure may prove useful. The instructor or group leader selects a statement and asks someone specifically, or the class generally, what names were written down. (There is no need to tackle the statements in order.) Before the person whose name was selected is asked whether the phrase is correctly or incorrectly attributed to him or her, some or all of the following questions may be considered: 1. Why did you select the name you did? What was there about this person that led you to think that this phrase applied to him or her? What specific verbal or nonverbal cues led you to your conclusion? 2. Is your response at all a function of a stereotype you might have of this individual’s ethnic, religious, racial, or sexual identification? For example, how many women’s names were written next to the statements about the saws (No. 13)? How many men’s names were written for the statement on cooking (No. 3)? 3. Did anyone give off contradictory cues such that some cues were appropriate for a specific phrase and others were not? Explain these contradictory cues. 4. How accurate were the predictions? Why are some people easier to predict than others? 5. How do you communicate your “self” to others? How do you communicate what you know, think, feel, and do to your peers? Copyright © 2016, 2013, 2009 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. 62 DeVito TICB 14e Instructor’s Manual Who? 1. Goes to the professional theater a few times a year. 2. Has taken a vacation outside the country in the last 12 months. 3. Likes to cook. 4. Watches soap operas on a fairly regular basis. 5. Wants lots of children. 6. Has seen a pornographic (XXX-rated) movie within the last three months 7. Has been to an opera. 8. Has lots of associations with people from different cultures. 9. Has cried over a movie in the last few months. 10. Has many close friends. 11. Knows how potatoes should be planted. 12. Knows who Edward R. Murrow was. 13. Knows the differences among a hacksaw, a jigsaw, and a coping saw. 14. Knows the ingredients for a Bloody Mary. 15. Knows the function of the spleen. 16. Knows what an armoire is. 17. Can name all 12 signs of the zodiac. 18. Has a car in his or her immediate family costing over $40,000. 19. Is frequently infatuated (or in love). 20. Would like, perhaps secretly, to be a movie star. 21. Knows the legal status of Puerto Rico. 22. Keeps a diary or a journal. 23. Knows what NAFTA stands for. 24. Knows what “prime rate” means and approximately how much it is today. 25. Is very religious. 26. Would describe himself or herself as a political activist. 27. Would vote in favor of gay rights legislation. 28. Is going to make a significant contribution to society. 29. Is going to be a millionaire. 30. Would emerge as a leader in a small-group situation. Copyright © 2016, 2013, 2009 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. 63 DeVito TICB 14e Instructor’s Manual Analyzing Assertiveness Read each of the following five situations. Consider all or some of the following questions, either individually, in small groups, or with the class as a whole: 1. How might an aggressive, a nonassertive, and an assertive person deal with each of these situations? 2. What obstacles might you anticipate if you chose to respond assertively? 3. What suggestions might you offer the person who wants to respond assertively but is having difficulty putting the principles into practice? Cheating on an Examination. You and another student turn in examination papers that are too similar to be the result of mere coincidence. The instructor accuses you of cheating by allowing the student behind you to copy your answers. You were not aware that anyone saw your paper. Decorating Your Apartment. You have just redecorated your apartment, expending considerable time and money in making it exactly as you want it. A good friend of yours brings you a house-warming gift—the ugliest poster you have ever seen. Your friend insists that you hang it over your fireplace, the focal point of your living room. Borrowing Money. A friend borrows $30 and promises to pay you back tomorrow. But tomorrow passes, as do 20 other tomorrows, and there is no sign of the money. You know that the person has not forgotten about it, and you also know that the person has more than enough money to pay you back. Neighbor Intrusions. A neighbor has been playing a stereo at an extremely high volume late into the night. This makes it difficult for you to sleep. Sexual Harassment. Your supervisor at work has been coming on to you and has asked repeatedly to go out with you. You have refused each time. Brushing up against you, touching you in passing, and staring at you in a sexual way are common occurrences. You have no romantic interest in your supervisor and simply want to do your job, free from this type of harassment. IN-CLASS ACTIVITIES Small-Group Discussions These discussions are designed to enable each student in the class to critically encounter verbal messages in light of his or her own experience and beliefs. Divide the class into small groups of about four to five people each, and assign each one of the following questions. (If you wish, they can pick topics to pursue.) Give them about 10 to 15 minutes to discuss each question. Then, have one student from each group stand to report the group’s proceedings. Below are some suggested topics:  Give examples of polarized adages you hear every day, e.g. “You’re either for us or against us.” Copyright © 2016, 2013, 2009 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. 64 DeVito TICB 14e Instructor’s Manual  Can you identify advertisements with racist, sexist, ageist, or heterosexist messages? Explain.  Think of examples of words whose denotations and/or connotations have changed over recent decades, e.g., “gay.”  Give examples of static evaluation in your life, for example, when you return home to live with your parents for vacations, or how classmates have changed since the last class reunion or since you graduated.  Have you noticed evidence of ageism in your classes or at work? What was said and how did you react? How can it be eliminated?  What cultural identifiers do you hear when talking to friends, family, and coworkers? What can you do to diminish their use in society?  Do you ever use in-group language with your family, friends, or coworkers? What are some examples and how can it exclude others?  How can you distinguish between facts and inferences when listening to political messages? On a Role Divide the class into as many groups as necessary to create role-plays demonstrating ineffective and effective communication using some of the concepts in the text. The role-plays should be as realistic and well-acted as possible, and three to five minutes long. Subjects can include some of the following:  Disconfirmation vs. confirmation  Excluding talk vs. inclusion  Criticism, praise, and honest appraisal  Cultural identifiers  Racist, sexist, ageist, and heterosexist communication  Polarization  Fact-inference confusion You Are What You Read? Bring a number of popular magazines to class, and split students into dyads. Tell each dyad to seek examples of the concepts in this chapter—for example, fact-inference confusion—in the stories or advertisements in each magazine. Give them ten minutes to work. At the end of this time, each group should read its “favorite” examples to the class—perhaps funny, outrageous, or particularly clear-cut instances of the theories they’ve just read about. Suggested magazines include the following: Copyright © 2016, 2013, 2009 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. 65 DeVito TICB 14e Instructor’s Manual Cosmopolitan Ebony Latina Maxim Newsweek Parenting People Sports Illustrated Time Town and Country Then, ask your students: To what extent do you think the authors of these words are aware of the messages they’re sending? What impact do such words have on your beliefs or the beliefs of others? TV Universals Tape a situation comedy, and bring it to class. Watch it with the students and try to answer the questions below about ideas from the text:  How do the characters create individual meanings for words?  How is meaning interactive?  What denotative and connotative meanings exist?  How are messages packaged?  What rules govern the verbal and nonverbal interaction? Do characters follow or violate the rules?  Can you find examples of messages that are abstract or concrete? Do abstract messages create misunderstanding?  Do characters use direct or indirect messages? Old Words, New Words As you brainstorm “old words” and “new words,” you can recognize some dynamics of language. In small groups discuss each category of the experience, adding to the list as you recall additional words for the categories. Answer the probes for each category. Give the students this background; it may be helpful to write these questions and examples on the board, so you can remember—not duplicate—them.  Here are examples of words that have become well known to the average American during the last ten years: offshoring, flextime, DVD, HDTV, and multitasking.  These words have significantly changed in meaning during the last few decades: queer, shuttle, digital, asylum, and surrogate.  These slang words have passed in and out of fashion through the last few decades: nerd, geek, phat, bad, foxy, got your back, gross, cool, and freak. Copyright © 2016, 2013, 2009 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. 66 DeVito TICB 14e Instructor’s Manual  Following are examples of ambiguous language, words with more than one meaning: runner, screen, briefs, back, out, fine, log, fair, and terminal. Ask the students to provide: 1. Words that have become well-known to the average American during the last ten years: Probe: Why have these words come into common usage? Do we become aware of words that label ideas and things that affect our lives? 2. Words that have significantly changed in meaning: Probes: How have these terms changed? Have they become more positive? Less positive? Did their meanings become broader? Narrower? 3. Teen slang: Probes: Why do teenagers “invent” words? Do other groups have specialized language? Why? 4. Ambiguous language: Probes: What problems can ambiguous language cause? How can you clarify ambiguous language? Snarl Words and Purr Words Tape a talk show or a court TV show and bring it into class. Notice the way the guests on the shows talk to one another. 1. Ask the students to point out the snarl and purr words used. 2. What impact do these words have on the recipients? 3. How do we “unlearn” to use snarl words? Assertiveness in Practice Break the students into groups and give them one of the following scenarios: 1. You have ordered a medium-well steak and the server brings it medium-rare. 2. You have received a C on a paper but think you deserve better and go to talk to the instructor. 3. You are trying to back out of your driveway, but your neighbor has parked his or her car too close to your driveway. You need the car moved. 4. You are eating lunch and someone is smoking right next to you, in a nonsmoking area. Next, ask them to formulate an assertive response to the situation and act it out in front of the class. For contrast, you can also ask them to form an aggressive response and a nonassertive response to act out. The class can then evaluate the effectiveness of each. Copyright © 2016, 2013, 2009 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. 67 DeVito TICB 14e Instructor’s Manual VIDEO RECOMMENDATIONS  Airplane – This movie depends on the interplay of verbal and nonverbal elements to create humor.  Chicago – This popular musical marries verbal and nonverbal expression to convey plot, emotion, and ambiance.  The Miracle Worker – Deaf and blind Helen Keller learns how to make her thoughts known to others by signing. This film depicts the crucial role that communication plays in making us truly functional members of society.  Remember the Titans – Nonverbal messages in this film underscore verbal messages, thus conveying racial tensions during the desegregation of a school district in northern Virginia in the early 1970s.  The Wizard of Oz – This film begins in black and white and switches to color to express meaning, but that’s just the beginning. Verbal and nonverbal expression alike, both make this movie a classic.  Zoolander – This outlandish comedy relies on exaggeration of nonverbal and verbal messages to make its audience laugh.  Birdcage – This movie begins with and revolves around the premise of polarization, but issues of racism, sexism, and heterosexism also are woven through the movie.  Forrest Gump – Forrest Gump’s mother practices the art of confirmation and honest appraisal in her dealings with her son.  A League of Their Own – A baseball team that happens to be populated by females is the focus of this movie, which displays the influences of sexism.  Philadelphia – This film illustrates how interpersonal interactions are influenced by homophobia, sexism, and racism – which we explore as parts of the process of disconfirmation.  Crocodile Dundee – offers a humorous look at how language differs due to culture. JOURNAL ASSIGNMENTS  Have you ever struggled with using the correct cultural identifiers when speaking or writing?  When have you committed the fallacy of allness? Describe what happened.  What cultural identifiers do you observe in your current surroundings? How can you let other people know the cultural descriptions that you want to be used in relation to you? Copyright © 2016, 2013, 2009 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. 68 DeVito TICB 14e Instructor’s Manual  Have you ever noticed your nonverbal communication contradicting your verbal? What happened and did the other person notice?  How assertive are you? Give an example to support your assertion. What do you already do well regarding assertiveness and what could you do to improve? Be sure to consider the verbal messages you deliver as well as your nonverbal behaviors.  When have you used nonverbal messages to substitute for verbal ones? Supply examples.  Are there certain words that make you feel irritated? Happy? Sad? Why do these words affect you thus?  When is it important to be specific in messages and when should you be ambiguous?  Do you pay attention to politeness when interacting with others in order to be seen as likeable and to make the other person feel autonomous? If not, what can you do to use politeness more effectively? Copyright © 2016, 2013, 2009 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. 69 The Power of Words; Verbal Communication • • • Objectives: analyze verbal messages and describe how meaning depends on language use and context (physical, social, and/or cultural) recognize the power of words in communicative interactions analyze the role of ethics in world choice and in using particular words to meet communicative goals *Read/review the Discussion Set criteria in the course syllabus or on the Course Information page. You will be graded according to those criteria. Instructions: 1) After reading chapter 4, watch the video clip below which focuses on a the negative backlash Rush Limbaugh received after calling a young female a 'slut.' After watching the video, create a thread answering the following questions: Step: Respond to each prompt/question. Number or letter your responses to match the number or letter of the prompt/question: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Why does Limbaugh’s word choice create a national stir? How does this clip highlight the power of words? How have words been used to historically silence people? How does context influence the appropriateness of the word choice? Rush Limbaugh uses words in this clip very purposefully to get a reaction - is this ethical? Explain. As part of your grade you are required to reference chapter concepts and terminology. When referencing chapter material, please italicize or bold (no need to use in-text citations). NOTE: Please focus solely on word choice rather than any personal, religious, or political beliefs about contraception. The purpose of this discussion is not his message per se, but rather how that message was delivered and what types of words were used.) NOTE: This forum utilizes "Post First"- in order to view the threads in the forum you must first create and post your own thread. Rush Limbaugh "Slut" controversy (URL:
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The Power of Words
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Question one
Limbaugh’s word choice creates a national stir because; first his choice of words was not good
and second he focused justifying his bad choice of words while apologizing. On this regard,
the two words that he used on Ms. Fluke were considered inappropriate what made him to
publicly apologize and his apology seems to be incoherent. The two words sound t...

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