CMN 2130: Lecture #8 Feb 6 2013
Chapter 5: Communicating Verbally
Triangle of meaning:
Symbol: A word, sound, or visual device that represents a thought, concept, or object.
Referent: The thing that a symbol represents.
Thought: The mental process of creating a category, idea, or image triggered by the referent or symbol.
Words and Meaning:
Words are symbols
Words are arbitrary
Words are contextbound
Words are culturallybound
Words have denotative and connotative meaning
Words communicate concrete or abstract meaning
Denontaive vs. Connotative Meaning:
Denotation: A literal, restrictive definition of a word.
Ex.: A student is a person who is enrolled for study in a school or college.
Connotation: The personal and subjective meaning of a word.
Ex.: A student is a person engaged in applying the mind to acquire knowledge or a happygolucky party
Concrete: A word is concrete if we can experience its referent with one our senses.
Ex.:Your school Abstract: A word is abstract if we cannot experience the referent with our senses.
Words have Power:
Words have power to create
Words have power to affect thought and actions
Words have power to affect and reflect culture
There are six word barriers:
Lack of clarity
Miscommunication caused by different understandings of the same words.
Ex.: “Bad” might mean “not good” to a parent or “really awesome” to a teenager in the late 90’s.
Lack of Precision:
Miscommunication caused by using words inappropriately or in imprecise ways.
Ex.: Sign in Acapulco hotel: The manager has personally passed a