Words are the vehicles of our expression. Without them, we would literally be speechless. And while – as we

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Subject: Engineering
Due on: 09/23/2021
Posted On: 09/23/2021 12:23 AM
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Words are the vehicles of our expression. Without them, we would literally be speechless. And while – as we have explored in earlier Modules – it is certainly possible to communicate effectively without words, such as through elements like gesture – it is words, especially the right word, that enables us to share what we know and think in ways that move our audience.

 

Regardless of whether or message is bad news, good news, or neutral, attention to word choice is essential. It is critical, for instance, to understand denotation and connotation to choose words well. Denotation is the dictionary definition of a word. You can remember it because denotation and dictionary both begin with the letter “d.” Connotation is our connection to a word. You can remember it because connotation and connection both begin with the letter “c.” Denotation conveys straightforward logic. Connotation evokes multilayered emotion.

 

One example of deliberate word choice can be found in restaurant menus. Even though we know what a cheeseburger tastes like, reading about a quarter pound of juicy char-grilled beef smothered in melted cheese and piled with crispy seared onions on a soft, fresh baked bun and served with a side of crispy, salty, golden fries is nearly enough to put a vegetarian in the mood!

 

The best words paint a mental picture. Our word choice should be determined on the picture we want to paint. Consider what you want your audience to know – and how you want them to feel. If you choose the right words, even bad news can seem good.  

 

Discussion Question

  • Find an example of at least one sentence – online, in print, in music, etc. – that uses words extremely effectively. Reply with your sentence and your explanation of why and how the words are used well. Be sure to address both connotation and denotation.

 

  • List at least one specific everyday step (i.e. one so easy and natural you will actually do it) to enhance your vocabulary, choose words more wisely, and communicate more effectively.
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Words are the vehicles of our expression. Without them, we would literally be speechless. And while – as we

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