Language And Critical Thinking


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The purpose of this powerpoint presetation is to introduce someone to the concept of language and the affects it has on critical thinking.

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Language And Critical Thinking

  1. 1. Chapter 6: Language and Critical Thinking<br />By Polo Morales<br />Speech 104<br />
  2. 2. Four areas of language use are important to critical thinking:<br />Word Choice<br />Definition<br />Ambiguity<br />Intensity<br />
  3. 3. Word Choice<br />Words affect the way an audience reacts to an argument.<br />Using words in a successful manner is not always achieved.<br />Word choices allow us to indirectly express our feelings about people, events, and things in our environment.<br />The Whorf-Sapir hypothesis maintains that the words of a particular language help to determine the way that people interpret the events that occur.<br />The hypothesis theorizes that thoughts and behavior are determined by language.<br />
  4. 4. Ambiguity<br />Ambiguous language runs the risk of being misunderstood.<br />“A word , phrase or sentence is ambiguous if it has more than one meaning.” (Kent Bach, Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on Ambiguity)<br />A euphemism is a less direct term, used in place of a specific term which may be considered offensive.<br />A euphemism can be any word as long as the listener can associate the term with the offensive term which it replaces.<br />
  5. 5. Ambiguous language:<br />Result of using: <br />Ambiguous language can cause confusion. <br />Ambiguous language can lead to over generalizing and stereotyping.<br />Ambiguous language can lead to bypassing.<br />Steps to prevent:<br />Use words that your audience can comprehend.<br />Define if necessary .<br />Pronounce words clearly.<br />
  6. 6. Definition<br />The primary function of a definition is to get the<br />sender and the receiver on the same page in<br />order to avoid unnecessary hurdles that prevent a discussion of more Important issues.<br />
  7. 7. Meaning of a word<br />The denotative meaning:<br />Refers to the way a word is generally used or the meaning that people usually attach to a word. <br />In a dictionary, definition number one of a word is thought of as the denotative meaning of a word.<br />The connotative meaning:<br />Refers to the way a person emotionally responds to it.<br />Connotative meanings are necessary for humans to express themselves emotionally, and to describe themselves fully. <br />
  8. 8. Intensity of language<br />The intensity of one’s language refers to the use of words and phrases that often negatively raise the emotional level of any communication encounter. <br />
  9. 9. Intensive Language<br />Negative evaluative words are words that can only be understood with their opposite (weak, slow, fat, dumb).<br />Strong emotive words are words that are used to describe something, but really presents the person’s attitude toward what is being described. These words are used in reference to almost anything including race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual preference.<br />Abusive language is the use of obscenity, name calling, insults, swear words, and off color remarks which are usually of a racial or sexual nature.<br />
  10. 10. Impact of Language on critical thinking.<br />Language is related to audience attention and comprehension.<br />Language is related to audience acceptance and ejection of an argument.<br />Language affects arguer credibility.<br />Language determines how people interpret their environment.<br />
  11. 11. Conclusion<br />Critical thinkers must take the language needs and requirements of their audience into account when trying to persuade them to adopt a particular point of view.<br />Using the correct language can enhance credibility and claim adherence, but using incorrect language can damage credibility and lead to the rejection of the position being advanced.<br />