Conveying Meaningful Information

2 Nov

The newest buzz-word where I roam is communication. Any time something goes awry, the “masses that be” will blame a communication problem. The help gurus tell you that you need to be good at communicating to your employees or your children in order to be effective. Clearly the communication breakdown in our culture is great and there are many reasons for this.

Using a word improperly can cause a great deal of confusion. While I don’t want to be so concerned that it stalls communication, I think this world of text messaging, tweeting, status updating, and instant messaging has harmed the English language. I’ve never been a great speller, but there is value in knowledge and the use of spelling. And when people show you these huge letters with everything misspelled, it irritates me. And they will say that as long as you can understand it, it is OK.

Maybe it is the cumulative effect or maybe I’m just a snob, but I think I have a standard that works. Someone who has attempted to communicate well and made a mistake can be forgiven (and harassed, if they are a friend), but if I see something that makes me interpret a vast majority of the words, the communication I receive is that they just don’t care and, therefore, neither do I.

Even most face to face communication is non-verbal. I literally saw a conversation tonight, where someone said, “I love the words, but I’m confused by the bulging neck veins.” Body language, facial expressions, and tones contribute a great deal. Now, why would I bring this up, other than to say that people who want to complain about bad communication need to be more precise about what their complaint is? Well, I am embarking on a new method of communication, and it occurred to me that I live in a society with such poor communication skills that even writing a blog suggests writing skill.

But having said all that, in my opinion, the most important part of communication is follow-up. I guess I’m saying is that communication isn’t really that difficult of a skill. If you want to make sure the communication was clear, ask the other communicant to reiterate. To make sure the information was conveyed, you merely follow-up with the person. While communication is blamed for many ills, the reality is that it merely takes effort. If you want to make sure someone knows the information you are trying to convey, merely care enough to spend time making sure their received message matches your intended point.

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3 Responses to “Conveying Meaningful Information”

  1. Jennifer Rebekah November 4, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    Well communicated! You've just articulated the precise reason I go to great pains in teaching grammar/writing. I also think our society lacks communication skills, and I want my children's skills to be much better than the norm. As Christians, we have a great responsiblity to communicate God's Word to others through every form of communication.

  2. Jenni November 8, 2011 at 4:17 am #

    I thought that I was the only person in the world who got annoyed at the vast intentional misuse of grammar in our society. People who have problems spelling don't bother me, but I get crazy annoyed when people say "u" instead of "you" and "4" instead of "for," etc.Please tell me what you heard me saying here so that I can know that I communicated it well.

  3. AskThePhatMan November 8, 2011 at 4:34 am #

    I agree with you, Jenni, that the intentional misuse of grammar is just lazy.

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