Language and Critical Thinking

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Chapter Six Summary - Language and Critical Thinking - Speech 104

Chapter Six Summary - Language and Critical Thinking - Speech 104

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  • 1. Chapter Six
  • 2. Language is the featurethat defines humans.It is what separates us fromanimals..
  • 3. Four areas of language use thatare important to critical thinking:Word ChoiceAmbiguityDefinitionIntensity
  • 4. Word Choice With over 500,000 words in the English language, there is no guarantee the sender and receiver will be on the same wavelength. The Whorf-Sapir hypothesis states: Language and thinking are inherently related. Good word choice involves being able to choose the most accurate words to convey the message.
  • 5. Ambiguity When a word has multiple definitions or meanings, the word is labeled “ambiguous”. One area of communication that increases the ambiguity level is the use of euphemisms. An example of an euphemism is using the term “with child” rather than “pregnant”.
  • 6. Ambiguity cont.’d William Lutz describes “doublespeak” as language that conceals or prevents thought. Ambiguous language can cause confusion, stereotyping and bypassing. Using greater language precision will offer the best communicative stance.
  • 7. DefinitionThe primary function of definition is to get sender and receiver on the samesemantic wavelength. Denotative Meaning Connotative Meaning The meaning of a word  The emotional impact of most frequently used by a word. people. When the sender and receiver establish common ground regarding the meaning of words, then clarity in language has been established.
  • 8. Definition cont.’d…The critical thinker can use any of the following to define terms: Dictionary definition Operational definition Definition by example Definition by negation Definition by etymology Special definitions
  • 9. Intensity of LanguageThere are three areas of intensity of language: Negative evaluative words Strong emotive words Abusive language
  • 10. Impact of Language on CriticalThinkingLanguage and persuasion are related in the following ways: Language is related to audience attention and comprehension Language is related to audience acceptance and rejection of an argument Language affects arguer credibility Language determines how people interpret their environment
  • 11. Remember…language choicemust be appropriate to thetime, place, person andoccasion.