Chapter 1. Introduction to Technical Communication.
Communication is the exchange of thoughts, message or information, as by speech, visuals, signals, writing, or behavior. Derived from the Latin word “communis”, meaning to share. Communication requires a sender, a message, and a recipient, although the receiver need not be present or aware of the sender’s intent to communicate at the time of communication; thus communication can occur across vast distance in time and space. Communication requires that the communicating parties share an area of communicative commonality. The communication process is complete once the receiver has understood the message of the sender.
Technical Communication would mean a communication specific to the sender and the recipient and both would be from the same field of knowledge. This communication may not be understood by any others in the sense that the messages passed across are in a language that can be understood by persons from once field of knowledge. Here the importance subset of such a communication. Technical Communication is the flow or exchange of information within people or group of people sharing a common platform of similar knowledge or people from the same field with or without the technical knowledge.
Means of Communication
1. Verbal Communication: Spoken and pictorial languages can be described as a system of symbols (sometimes as known lexemes) and the grammars (rules) by which the symbols are manipulated. The word “language” also refers to common properties of languages. Language learning normally occurs most intensively during human childhood. Most of the thousands of human languages use patterns of sound or gestures for symbols which enable communication with others around them. Languages seem to share certain properties although many of these include exceptions. There is no defined line between a language and a dialect.
Constructed languages such as Esperanto, programming languages and various mathematical formalisms are not necessarily restricted to the properties shared by human languages. Communication should also include the display of text, Braille, tactile communication, large print, accessible multimedia, as well as written and plain language, human –reader, augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication, including accessible information and communication technology. Manipulative Communications are intentional and unintentional ways of manipulating words, gestures, etc. to “get what we want “, by demeaning, discounting, attacking or ignoring instead of respectful interaction. Sarcasm, criticism, rudeness and swearing are examples.
2. Non Verbal Communication: A variety of verbal and non-verbal means of communicating exists such as body language, eye contact, sign language. Nonverbal communication describes the process of conveying meaning in the form of non – word messages. Research shows that the majority of our communication includes chronemics (use of time) , haptics (using the sense of touch),gesture, body language or posture; facial expression and eye contact, object communication such as clothing , hairstyles, architecture, symbols infographics, and tone of voice as well as through an aggregate of the above. Speech also contains nonverbal elements known as paralanguage.
These include voice lesson quality, emotion and speaking style as well as prosodic features such as rhythm, intonation and stress. Likewise, written texts include nonverbal elements such as handwriting style, spatial arrangement of words and the use of emoticons to convey emotional expression in pictorial form. 3Oral communication: Oral communication, while primarily referring to spoken verbal communication, can also employ visual aids and non verbal elements to support the discussion, and aspects of interpersonal communication. As a type of face-to face communication, body language and choice tonality play a significant role, and may have communication also garners immediate feedback.
Historic Stages in Written Communication:
1. Pictograms in the form of stone graphics hence immobile. 2. Written form on papyrus, paper, clay tablets. Introduction of common alphabets and also the invention of printing in the 15th century made the written form a very strong means. 3. Transfer of information through controlled waves and electronic signals.
All communication, intentional or unintentional, has some effect. This effect may not be always in communicator’s favor or as desired by him or her. Communication that produces the desired effect or result is effective communication. It results in what the communicator wants. Effective communication generates the desired effect, maintain effect & increase effect. Effective communication serves its purpose for which it was planned or designed. The purpose could be to generate action, inform, create understanding or communicate a certain idea/point etc. Effective communication also ensures that message distortion does not take place during the communication process.
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