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Coherent Communication: Lost!

Howell Hurst Uncategorized


We are all going to have to become comedians to cope with modern humans’ inability to communicate with another person in verbal speech without one or both becoming almost violently confrontational with loud, shouting voices.

The number of people I communicate with daily who are incapable of plain English language via spoken discussion is astounding. People digitally fixated on texting and e-mailing seem unable to accept that all people select and use our common language in different ways.

I am accused of “not listening” when I indeed am listening, but am not fully understanding the other person, because I do not immediately comprehend for certain what the other person is trying to express in their unique use of words. I ask a clarifying question and the other blurts out: “You are not listening!”

People choose different words and sentence structures to communicate. This is particularly true since our country has different geographic spoken dialects. Which is why one needs to speak personally in English, rather than just send e-mails.

People speaking are able to ask questions of one another and continue speaking with a understanding because they, step-by-step, clarify what the other person is attempting to communicate before going on with the conversation.

This is an almost lost human double-check mechanism that makes spoken communication more effective. Tone and volume and emphasis in spoken language is also key to communication. You can hear a smile in a person’s spoken voice. Not so in a digital e-mail.

It is why lawyers in courts verbally examine and cross-examine witnesses: to continuously clarify that they have clearly understood the meaning of another’s last verbal statement before proceeding to the next point.

This is not possible in e-mails – except in a much slower fashion. People sometimes cannot ask for clarification of an email statement until a day later, which is often too late. The moment has passed for clarification and the situation has changed. So the follow up explanation has become worthless.

Am I saying that digital communication, with all its geeky nerdy dorky protocols, is goofy? Yes, I am. It’s often a form of non-communication when it does not help the parties reach common understanding. Add all the malware and con-game digital intrusions, and we have lost almost any form of rational communication anymore.

Take the modern political scene, as an example, with its Donald Trump Tweet-a-Mania -Tweet-a-Thons. The whole phenomenon is entirely ridiculous. It’s not communication. It’s stupidity. It’s farce. It’s verbal ping-pong. It’s word fencing. Syllable boxing. Dumb. Dumber. Dumbest.

What? You don’t understand what I’m trying to say?

Well, give me a phone call and let’s calmly chat.

We’ll figure it all out, I guarantee you.

Or not.






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