language and communication

Subject: language and communication
From: Damien Braniff <dbraniff -at- iss-dsp -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2000 13:28:53 +0000

As my original post said this was from a talk a couple of years ago and,
like any good talk, the opening premise is designed to get people
talking (pros and cons) and was probably at least a little tongue in

Bruce Byfield said it was more a question of what language does easily
than what it was good or bad at and I have to agree. However, can't you
equate the two, at least at some level? Isn't it (v. generally!) the
case that what we good at comes easily? He also talks about the level
of organisation and again I agree but what level do most people operate
at? At school I was taught that electrons orbit the nucleus of an atom
like the earth around the moon - made sense; later I was told it wasn't
quite like that; at university things change again... Language is like
that. Most people have a basic understanding of language to a level
that meets their everyday needs. Once you go beyond that level you
start having problems (is this where we come in?).

His example re directions is valid to a point but almost everyone I know
wouldn't give directions like that - more likely to be 'second left by
the Red Lion pub, then third right by the supermarket...'. We
automatically add visual clues to supplement the basic instructions. As
to wincing at being called a communicator, it's as good a word as any.
Personally I don't care what they call me as long as they keep paying me

Damien Braniff

Damien Braniff
Technical Author
Integrated Silicon Systems Ltd. Tel: +44 28 90 50 4000
50 Malone Road Fax: +44 28 90 50
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