The Chosen Words
Its not what you say...
It is not what you say its how you say it... As I become more involved in online communities, it is apparent there is a danger of unnaceptable behaviour unique to online forums that can develop into something quite nasty to witness, sometimes people will go to lengths to sabotage others work, perhaps they disagree with the other persons views, perhaps they don't like the person, or perhaps they are jealous of another's work. I have seen peoples replies to online forum comments with no thought or regard to who they are directing their comments too, and forgetting that actually there is a person at the other side of the computer.
There's an old saying Its not what you say.. Its how you say it.
Do you become angry and frustrated at someones forum post? Have you written an article and it has been taken the wrong way sparking contorversy. Have you published something and regretted it immediately but know it is too late to take it back?
When you are writing you cannot see the other person, you may not even know the other person to whom the text is meant for, and the reader may not know the rate at which it was intended to be read, breathing rate, energy level, pitch or tone. These factors can all have a HUGE impact on how the written text is received.
Knowledge of words alone, however, does not assure good communication. A good vocabulary helps, but other factors must be included for effective communication of the written word.
Before you hit that publish button ask yourself how will that person perceive my message?
The History of the Written Word
I researched online about the history of writing to try to understand how one persons interpretation of a piece of text can be so different.
We know that language existed for a long time before writing. We have probably been talking for between 50,000 and 100,000 years. But archaeology suggests that the first writing emerged around 6,000 years ago.
Pictograms (pictures whose meaning is directly related to the image: eg. a snake means a snake) were first in use in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. These pictograms evolved into Hieroglyphics when the meanings came to include verbs (image of an eye might now also mean 'to see something') and phonetics, (the snake image could mean an 'ess' sound)
The spoken word has nearly all but disappeared as we find ourselves surrounded by technology, email, and internet.
We even stay in touch with our families and friends through Social Netwroking sites, where we have shortened conversations, where we send our co-workers an email in the next cubicle, instead of standing up and walking over to talk to them.
I had to google a text message I was sent recently
sts cnt do lnch cu@eotd x (sorry to say can not do lunch see you at end of the day...)
Over 18.5 billion text messages are sent a month with a total of 68.7 million users (Sandlin). Although there are so many people who text and it is so widely used and used frequently, some even carry it over into their writing.
Even grandparents are not excluded and I recently bought Nana a Txt messaging guide, we are still trying to get her to remember to switch on the phone first though (love you Mum!)
What do you see?
How one person can fall in love with the written word and other become repulsed.
How can I write something and think it's my best piece of work to date, and for someone else to see nothing but it's flaws.
How can we convey emotions in a seemingly emotionless society?
We have 5 senses and as someone who writes I believe you need to engage your reader in these senses, but for different people they still means different things.
1Taste - Food, what does your favourite food remind you of?
2Touch - Close your eyes and feel your way around the computer what does it FEEL like.
3Sight - Look outside the window and describe what you SEE.
4Sound - Close your eyes what do you HEAR.
5Smell - Breath in deep what can you smell.
Now if we were all in the same room doing this, I still bet that not ONE comment would be the SAME...using all the verbs, adjectives and nouns we could think of...get my point?
Lets call the whole thing off
I can't say it any better than this song does
I give to you my pledge for all writers
To embrace the DIVERSITY, CREATIVITY,
and respect the INDIVIDUALITY
THE WRITTEN WORD (however it may be written!)
With Great Pleasure
In my own way
It was with pleasure I wrote this page, honestly I wrote it because I had been struggling with understanding some writers and their styles of writing.
I now have come to the understanding that I may not agree, I may not like what they are saying, but I should respect the writer and the effort they have taken to write their article.
© 2010 Lisa Auch