LANGUAGE IN COMMUNICATION
LANGUAGE IN COMMUNICATION
Previously we have discussed that non verbal communication
outsmarts verbal communication by a
big margin but fact remains that the non verbal communication
matters the most in real time when you
communicate, or you are communicated, through the human senses
and body gestures and signs.
In time and space mostly it is the language comprising words
which communicates to others. For instance
most historic records are available in the form of books written
by scores of historians. The religious
teachings and the scientific and philosophical works are also
going down to generations through words.
It is the words, spoken or written, by prophets and other
scholars on which scholars of the day try to set
explanations and seek guidance.
It is, however, a mystery to say whether the languages – over
4,000 in recognized form, are man made or
divine. Who invented them and at what stage their grammar rules
and nouns were set up, still remains
shrouded in obscurity.
Despite the fact that languages have been one of the strongest
tools of communication, they also have
innate flaws which hamper communication. Here below we will see
how languages behave in
For almost every language it is a common practice to describe
things in extreme position. At times
people are made to take an extreme position while the fact
remains that they want to stay some where in
For instance a person is said to be good or bad. You ask about a
friend and reply may be; he is good, or he
is bad. The fact is that the person under question is bad in
some respect and good in some others. There
may be a person who is said to be bad because he has committed a
serious crime but this may be a fact
about him that he always speaks the truth which is good.
At the time of elections, you are asked to say yes or no. Yes
means you fully endorse policies of a person,
and no will mean you fully reject the same for another. Fact is
you do like some policies of a person you are
made to say no about and there may be some fault in the policies
of a person (leader) you are made to say
You watch a movie and you observe it as good or bad and so you
tell others about it. The fact is you like
the music and acting but not the direction and the script or
The use of polarized feeling does not allow you to communicate
the very truth about something you have a
different feelings. The worst occurs when having said good, you
cover an extra distance to justify it if ever
there is a debate on the matter, although your first observation
has been polarized due to in-built
inadequacy of language.
A language help you label people of different categories and
thereafter always keep an impression
about them as such. For instance Scots are labeled as stingy
people. Every Scot is not but whenever you are
going to have a business with a Scot, a friend may tell you be
careful while dealing with a Scot.
People of some tribe and clan are labeled as quarrelsome. There
may be some who are very peaceful and
reasonable but if you are in communication with them under the
impression of label, no sooner a point of
dispute arises that you are prompted to observe that nothing is
wrong with you; you belong to a tribe which
is well known for such behavior.
It is common in the third world countries to see the United
Nation with suspicion and regard it as an
extension of the developed world only to twist arms of poor
nation when needed. This may be far from
truth in a given case but such labeling would go along the
communication process and stand firm in giving
certain obsessed meanings on part of the sender if he belongs to
other side of the divide.
Sometimes some words are attached with a person and he/she
continues to be known by the
meanings of those words. For instance there is your college
fellow whom you regard as nuts who is difficult
to handle. Now the fellow has gone to US and married and has
turned very reasonable – as one can keep
changing overtime. But whenever friends meet and talk about that
fellow even years after, they will refer
him as nuts.
You visit a foreign land only once in your life time and cheated
by some natives. You will continue to call
people of that land as cheats whenever there will be any mention
of that country though the event took
place decades ago. So harsh are the feelings and the words to
give such meanings where as the fact is that
people, who might have cheated, are now changed.
At times some ruling tribes are described with static meanings
in the book of history and their generations
are continued to be known with those characteristics once
attached to their forefathers.
All this is because language does not offer any scientific
approach to measures matters as done in physics or
chemistry or other natural sciences.
Another problem in the usage of languages is that it provides
you common nouns and suggests that
people in this area are also similar in behavior. For instance,
people from the police department, customs
department, are seen with preconceived meaning. You use the word
police and immediately particular
meanings would be drawn in your mind. If a group of students
resort to some hooliganism, people would
quickly remark it as a common thing about students. Say she is a
model and immediately people would
assume a particular meaning about her. So on and so forth. This
indiscrimination among individuals, once
they are grouped in a common noun, is another skirting area of
Purpose of debate
As we undertake the debate on language and communication, the
purpose is not to prove that
languages are worthless, but only to highlight areas where
languages fall short of meaning and hence cause
some problem – sometimes very serious – in common communication.