THREE MODES OF COMMUNICATION

I’d call this “3 modes of talking”  or “3 modes of using words,”  but communication actually involves more than words.  So no photos, this time.   Use your own imagination about body language,   facial expressions, and other subtle clues of communication.

Since my television system is still “under repair,”  I’ve had the opportunity to avoid a lot of the entertainment-news media and default back to a normal way of speaking and communicating and of staying informed.

The contrast between normal people and television people is so great that it’s made me think about the different ways people communicate.

There is (1)  a kind of “Romanitas”  – a sophisticated, subtle, efficient, and powerful way of saying what you mean by not saying what you mean.  It’s not limited to Rome (or to the Vatican)  but is common among older societies.  It’s a way of being and a way of doing, as much as a way of communicating.

There is (2) a kind of American way of speaking.   I’m so familiar with it that I took it for granted that this is the way people deal with each other.    But it took a book written by a foreigner,  and a gifted linguist,  to describe this “American” way of thinking – although I’m quite sure it’s not confined to “Americans.”

Here is this author’s description –

The American way of speaking is blunt,  straight-talking, and casual.  It is also gentle because it assumes the equal status and dignity of the other person.   It is accepting and assumes the best in the other person.   Even the toughest talker had that live-and-let-live Americanism, and a sense of decency.

Lastly, there is (3) the excitable speaking of a group of 8 year old girls, arranged in a circle sharing delicious gossip to each other.

I’ve taught 8 year olds, and 7 and 6 year olds.   And girls talk differently – to one another! They love to talk about what someone has done wrong.  They love to bring out the faults of other friends.  They love to feel they are int he inner circle because they are right and others are wrong.  and they really LOVE to “tell on”  the wrongdoers to the teacher, once they have their story straight.

In the 1990s it was called the Politics of Personal Destruction and it was brought to adults in the political arena, who promptly began acting like 8 year old girls on the hunt!   But unfortunately,  many adult careers and lives were ruined.  Reputations were indeed destroyed.

The entertainment-news media found out that the Politics of Personal Destruction worked as a mean and effective political tool.

So – One example today:

OF COURSE –  one candidate did not advocate using violence against the other candidate!!!!!   Of course, we know that.

But the 8 year old girls circled the wagon and  began to speculate about a wonderful awful bad thing they found out about someone not in their inner circle. . .     It’s not that all of them are saying that he did advocate violence.    Not exactly all of them.

But most of them are saying    “what if he meant violence?!!!!!!!!!!”

(Can’t you just see their facial expressions and body language?      “We’ve got him now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

How     perfectly,      deliciously       exciting.

And how very un-American.

Flag don't tread

(American –  blunt, plain-talking,  straightforward,   casual,  upfront,   accepting the decency of fellow Americans,   assuming the best in the other man,   and on equal footing with the person you are speaking to or talking about . . .  .)

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