The spread of the British Empire that introduced English in India, Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand and America has much to do with it. It came to these countries as the language of business, travel and exploration and then became the sole medium of instruction. There are also other factors. It is the language of international business, air traffic control, United Nations, diplomacy, world banking, science and technology, academic research, space travel and global computing. Moreover, it is perhaps the most flexible of all languages. Like the original lingua franca that was a mixture of Italian, French, Greek, Arabic, Turkish and Spanish. English is a mixture of Anglo-Saxon, Greek, Latin, French, Arabic, Sanskrit, Spanish, and Portugese has freely borrowed and adapted words from all the main languages of the world, all adding to its extraordinary richness. It is also very easy to learn. It has only 26 letters while a learner of Chinese or Japanese has to struggle with as many as 2000 characters. Not only that, people belonging to different parts of the world speaks English in many different types of accents and produce different vowel and consonant sounds. But they do somehow manage to communicate to one another through a universally accepted, a common set of symbols. In this way English is the only language having a pan-global character. It has probably the largest number of words used and understood all over the world side by side with typically American, Indian or Australian Words.
Bba Business Communication: Study Material of, Means/Media of Communication: Importance of Verbalization or Use of Words., Topic is Three Crucial Factors Regarding The Use of Words
Dealing with verbal communication we must bear in mind the following crucial factors:
- The location of meaning in the mind
Words in themselves do not have any meaning. The meaning lies in the mind of the user. As has been said earlier words are just symbols and it is the mind of man that establishes their relationship with objects or events. While communicating we have to make sure that the words we use will be given similar associating or meaning in the mind of those to whom we transmit or pass the intended message or information.
- Denotative vs. connotative meaning:
There are two kinds of meaning-denotative and connotative. The denotative meaning relates directly to the real word-the objects or events for which it immediately stands. In other words we can say that the denotative meaning is the meaning that information us about the objects or events as we see them and about which we communicate. For example, let us take the word ‘pen’. To me, as I write the manuscript of this book with my pen, the word ‘pen’ means only what it stands for, nothing more, nothing less. Connotative meaning, on the other hand, goes much beyond the denotative meaning. It is based on experience, emotion, opinion, attitude, philosophical findings and what not. So, the same word ‘pen’ may also stand for the power of written, ideas, literature, a moving letter or appeal in a sentence like this “The pen is mightier than the word”. The connotative meaning, in this way, further adds to or detracts from denotative meaning. We have, therefore, to be very careful in the use of words in order to make our communication effective.
Context plays a very important role in determining the meaning of words. There are two kinds of context-physical and verbal. The physical context stands for the surroundings or environment in which a word is used. If, for example we use the word ‘fast’ on a racetrack it will invariably refer to racehorse while the same word in a different environment may mean, ‘firmly fixed’ or ‘a period of abstaining from good.’ The verbal context stands for the surrounding words. All words acquire meaning in association with other words. That is why, very often we make out the meaning of a conversation or argument or story by relating the words spoken/heard to one another. Everyone knows that by adding or deleting surrounding words we can change meanings altogether.