Reference no: EM131257004
The purpose of this discussion is to look at how imprecise terms can distort meaning and how we can mitigate issues associated with assumptions. You are asked to share an example from your own experience that illustrates misunderstanding based on language.
Post your answer ONE of the following questions by creating a new thread and adding your content.
1. Give an extended example, or several examples, of the use of abstract, ambiguous, or vague terms that are not defined by the writer or speaker. You can find these examples in editorials, political speeches, advertisements, or perhaps when you converse with friends. List the abstract, vague, or ambiguous terms or phrases used and tell how different people could interpret these words in different ways. If possible, extend the exercise by asking someone who is using vague terms to clarify what he or she means by those terms. For further practice, see the discussion questions and suggestions for speech or essay writing at the end of the chapter.
2. Think of some examples of verbal misunderstandings that have occurred in your life or in the life of someone you know. How could the confusion have been avoided? Consider a time when you misunderstood someone's words or instructions.
"I missed an English class and called a friend to get the assignment. She said we had to turn in a copy of a résumé that we might use to apply for a job. Then she said, ‘You also need a cover.' I assumed she was using the word cover the way I use it, so I bought a report cover.
What she really meant was that we were supposed to have a cover letter introducing ourselves to an employer. The cover letter goes with the résumé.
"I could have avoided these problems by asking what she meant when she mentioned a cover. Or I could have repeated back to her what the assignment was; then she might have caught my error."