Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication

4 April 2015
An examination of the relationship between two forms of communication – verbal and non-verbal.

The paper shows that when we think about communication, we think about the spoken word and that our thoughts are always about the words people use and their fluency of speech. Yet, at the same time, we are also taking in information from nonlinguistic sources. The author notes that people’s mannerisms, clothing, and appearance are also important, as well as their tone of voice. Researches have estimated that, in face-to-face communication, as much as 90 percent of the social meaning may be carried in the nonverbal message and that facial appearance and response may contribute more to our meaning of their message than all their words. The paper explores the importance of both types of communication and how they are put across.
As popularly used, language refers to a system of words. This development is not surprising, since words distinguish human communication from that of lower animals. Words, as symbols, usually convey information in a quite deliberate, no instinctive way. For this reason, language is sometimes treated as a set of verbal symbols.

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