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Chapter 4 Verbal Communication 4.1 Multiple Choice Questions 1) What is/are symbolic, an arbitrary system of symbols, rule-governed, and conveys power? a) Discourse b) Speech c) Language d) Words Answer: c Rationale: Language fits the description provided as it is a symbolic system of communication, consisting of arbitrary symbols (words) that are governed by rules (grammar) and have the power to convey meaning and influence others. 2) Words are _______ that represent things, our feelings, names for objects around us, and explanations for behaviors. a) symbols b) jargon c) paralanguage d) power Answer: a Rationale: Words serve as symbols that represent various aspects of our world, including objects, feelings, names, and explanations. They are the basic units of language used for communication. 3) Casey’s Aunt asked what article he was reading. Casey replied, “It's a review of current research associated with the physical characteristics of spinal manipulation. I'm on a bit of a quest to track down all of the proposed mechanisms by which a high-velocity low amplitude thrust may remove nerve interference. It's pretty clear that deafferentation and hyperafferentation result in aberrant somatosensory input and integration. If the integration is poor the efferent signals will simply be wrong, and will result in strange motor or visceral neuromodulation.” Casey’s Aunt did not understand what the article was about because Casey used a) clichés. b) abstractions. c) technical language. d) euphemisms. Answer: c Rationale: Casey used technical language, which consists of specialized terms and concepts related to a specific field or subject. This type of language can be difficult for those unfamiliar with the field to understand. 4) Professor Lutz identified _________ as euphemisms, jargon, gobbledygook, and inflated language. a) arbitrary rules b) doublespeak c) connotative meanings d) denotative meanings Answer: b Rationale: Professor Lutz identified doublespeak as language that is intended to deceive or obscure meaning, often using euphemisms, jargon, gobbledygook (confusing language), and inflated language (exaggerated or pretentious language) to achieve this. 5) The phrase, “We went shopping last week,” is an example of a method used to improve verbal communication. This method is called a) dating. b) formulizing. c) indexing. d) describing. Answer: a Rationale: Dating is a method used to improve verbal communication by providing specific time references, such as "last week," to help clarify the context and timeline of events being discussed. 6) What can be communicated through language? a) Power b) Authority c) Position d) Status Answer: a Rationale: Language can be used to communicate power, as it allows individuals to influence others, convey authority, assert their position, and establish their status within a social context. 7) Jameel wrote the definition for aggressive by referring to Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary rather than using his experiences as a reference. Jameel used the __________ meaning of the word. a) connotative b) denotative c) representative d) euphemistic Answer: b Rationale: Jameel used the denotative meaning of the word aggressive by referring to a dictionary definition, which provides the literal or primary meaning of a word, independent of any personal or emotional associations (connotations) that may be attached to it. 8) When Moses’ teacher called him a “troubled youth” instead of a “juvenile delinquent” she was using a (n) a) antonym. b) synonym. c) euphemism. d) supportive term. Answer: c Rationale: The teacher used a euphemism by choosing a milder or more polite term ("troubled youth") to describe Moses, rather than a potentially more negative or stigmatizing term ("juvenile delinquent"). 9) Pamela’s explanation to Marge lacked specificity when she said, “We were disappointed; so were the kids.” Her language and discussion about the family vacation was a) powerless. b) concrete. c) vague. d) symbolic. Answer: c Rationale: Pamela's language was vague because it lacked specificity or detail, making it difficult to understand the nature or extent of the disappointment experienced by her and the children. 10) The use of broad terms to explain ideas or concepts is called a) generalizations. b) vague language. c) regulative rules. d) abstractions. Answer: d Rationale: Abstractions refer to the use of broad terms or concepts that are not specific or concrete. They represent ideas or concepts rather than specific instances or examples, making them less precise and more general in nature. 11) Angela told Sami, “I’m on the carpet!” Because both women are from the Mid Atlantic seaboard, Sami knows that Angela cannot wait to get married. This is an example of how language is influenced by a) social culture. b) geographic location. c) racial background. d) ethnic make-up. Answer: b Rationale: The phrase "I’m on the carpet" is an example of regional slang or idiom that is specific to the Mid Atlantic seaboard, influencing Sami's understanding of Angela's implied meaning related to marriage. This demonstrates how language can be influenced by geographic location. 12) When the meaning for a word or symbol is determined by someone’s experiences, values, and culture, it is known as what type of definition? a) Dictionary b) Connotative c) Denotative d) Contextual Answer: b Rationale: Connotative definitions are based on personal experiences, values, and cultural contexts, providing additional or emotional meaning beyond the literal or denotative definition found in a dictionary. 13) During Shari’s first golf lesson, her instructor was using terms such as par, handicap, divot, and wedge. She knew the meanings of these words but not how they applied to the game of golf. Shari’s lack of familiarity with this terminology is an example of a) dating. b) descriptive language. c) slang. d) technical language. Answer: d Rationale: Shari's lack of familiarity with the terminology used in golf indicates a lack of understanding of the technical language specific to the sport, which includes terms such as par, handicap, divot, and wedge. 14) Unspoken rules that guide our use of language are called a) implied rules. b) expressed rules. c) regulative rules. d) governed rules. Answer: c Rationale: Regulative rules are unspoken guidelines that govern how language is used, including rules related to grammar, syntax, and appropriateness in different contexts. 15) Language that has its own set of meanings and that often sets the group apart from others is used by a) women. b) men. c) cultures. d) students. Answer: c Rationale: Cultures often develop their own set of meanings and language styles, known as jargon or specialized language, which can differentiate them from other groups and help establish a sense of identity or belonging. 16) What can we use to more accurately reflect our perceptions of people, events, or objects by pointing out individual differences and unique qualities? a) Indexing b) Dating c) Paraphrasing d) Profanity Answer: a Rationale: Indexing is the practice of acknowledging individual differences and unique qualities when describing people, events, or objects, allowing for a more accurate and nuanced understanding or portrayal. 17) According to Ogden and Richards, what process is the indirect link between the object and the word? a) Abstraction b) Indexing c) Dating d) Thought Answer: d Rationale: According to Ogden and Richards, thought is the indirect link between the object (referent) and the word (symbol), as thoughts mediate our understanding and use of language to represent the world. 18) Using ________ helps us communicate more clearly and accurately; helps reduce misunderstandings, and can make our speech more interesting. a) descriptive language b) symbols c) vague language d) paralanguage Answer: a Rationale: Descriptive language helps us communicate more clearly and accurately by providing specific details, reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings, and making our speech more engaging and vivid. 19) When asked by Grandma Jackie how her friend Alex was doing, Bridget replied, “Hahaha, OMG! This is too perf! Alex told me that she and Greg went to the game and afterward, they both partied so hard. People were jealous of their swag, but it’s a whatever, because, like, YOLO!” Grandma Jackie did not understand the message because Bridget used a) generic language. b) euphemisms. c) jargon. d) slang. Answer: d Rationale: Bridget used slang terms such as "perf" (perfect), "OMG" (oh my god), "swag" (style), and "YOLO" (you only live once), which are not familiar to Grandma Jackie, leading to a lack of understanding due to the use of unfamiliar language. 20) Ana was hurt and upset at Chad for spending so much money on an entertainment center and then lying to her about the cost discrepancy. Making light of it, Chad said, “So, I was ‘economical with the truth,’ the entertainment center is amazing and you’ll learn to love it.” The phrase “economical with the truth” is (a) _____ for the word lying. a) slang b) jargon c) euphemism d) general language Answer: d Rationale: The phrase "economical with the truth" is a euphemism, which is a milder or more indirect term used in place of a harsh or unpleasant one. In this case, it is used as a less direct way of saying "lying." 4.2 Short Answer Questions 1) Words are ________ that represent our thoughts, feelings, and ideas in a specific context or relationship. Answer: symbols 2) ________ language is characterized by assertive statements and certainty. Answer: Powerful 3) According to Webster’s Dictionary, the word “reckless” is defined as “heedless or careless.” This definition is the ________ meaning of the word. Answer: denotative 4) ________ are used to spare someone’s feelings or to lessen the impact of words. Answer: Euphemisms 5) Language that can be used to misrepresent ideas or mislead the listener is known as ________. Answer: doublespeak 6) Bobbi was upset about today’s meeting. She told Kurt, “My client is so unreasonable about making changes in the project.” Ken asked, “Is she unreasonable about all changes?” Bobbi clarified herself, “No, only the changes I have made this week.” Bobbi is using ________ to improve her verbal skills. Answer: dating 7) The use of a specific time reference to clarify a message is known as Answer: dating 8) ____________ is a problem because it only pretends to include women when in fact it refers only to men. Answer: Generic language 9) Edgar’s tardiness made Monica and him late for the symphony. Since late entrances are not allowed, the money it cost for the tickets was wasted. This made Monica furious. Trying to communicate her strong feelings, Monica used profanity to communicate her annoyance and frustration. Edgar felt bad about being late but after listening to her tirade, Edgar shook his head, got back in his car, and left Monica at home. What effect did Monica’s profanity have on Edgar and why? Answer: The use of profanity caused more damage than it did to clarify Monica’s message because it offended and alienated Edgar. 10) ___________ language helps us to perceive people as capable, credible, and believable. Answer: Powerful 4.3 True/False Questions 1) Language is arbitrary, rule-governed, and conveys power. Answer: True Rationale: Language is arbitrary because the relationship between words and their meanings is arbitrary and not based on any inherent connection. It is rule-governed by grammar and syntax, and it conveys power by influencing and shaping perceptions and behaviors. 2) Regulative rules are unspoken rules that guide our use of language. Answer: True Rationale: Regulative rules are indeed unspoken rules that govern our use of language, such as turntaking in conversations, politeness norms, and rules for organizing information. 3) Language is arbitrary because its meaning can change depending on the speaker, audience, and context. Answer: True Rationale: The meaning of words and language can be subjective and contextual, varying based on factors such as individual interpretation, cultural context, and situational context. 4) The connotative meaning of a word is also known as the dictionary meaning of the word. Answer: False Rationale: The connotative meaning of a word refers to the emotional or cultural associations it carries beyond its literal definition, while the dictionary meaning is the denotative meaning, which is the explicit or primary meaning of a word. 5) The denotative meaning is the specific reference of the word, what we find in a dictionary. Answer: True Rationale: The denotative meaning of a word is its explicit or literal definition, which can be found in a dictionary. It represents the specific reference or meaning of the word. 6) Words help us to communicate effectively because they represent both abstract and concrete things. Answer: True Rationale: Words are symbols that can represent both abstract concepts (e.g., love, freedom) and concrete objects (e.g., desk, chair), allowing us to communicate ideas, emotions, and experiences effectively. 7) Words collected together and understood by a large group form a language. Answer: True Rationale: A language is a system of communication that consists of words and rules for their use, understood by a community or group of people. It allows for meaningful communication among its speakers. 8) Our culture refers only to our racial or ethnic make-up. Answer: False Rationale: Culture encompasses a wide range of aspects beyond racial or ethnic background, including shared beliefs, values, customs, traditions, language, and social behaviors. 9) Words such as choice, hope, and heaven are abstract principles, whereas desk, teacher, and computer are concrete things we can see, touch, and hear. Answer: True Rationale: Abstract words refer to concepts or ideas that do not have a physical form and are intangible, such as emotions or qualities. Concrete words, on the other hand, refer to physical objects or things that are tangible and can be perceived by the senses. 10) Powerful language includes disclaimers and tag questions that communicate a sense of uncertainty and tentativeness. Answer: False Rationale: Powerful language typically involves assertive and confident expressions, while disclaimers and tag questions often convey uncertainty or tentativeness, which may diminish the perceived power of the language. 11) A euphemism is a word used to substitute for another word because it is more pleasant. Answer: True Rationale: Euphemisms are used to substitute for words or phrases that may be considered harsh, blunt, or unpleasant, in order to make them more socially acceptable or polite. 12) Terms such as “congressman,” “policeman,” and “clergyman” are all examples of generic language. Answer: True Rationale: Generic language refers to terms that are not gender-neutral, as they imply a specific gender (e.g., -man suffix), which may not accurately reflect the diversity of roles and occupations. 13) Although these rules are unspoken, Adam knows never to use vulgar language in front of adults, especially those in authority positions. These rules are also known as indexing. Answer: False Rationale: The scenario described does not represent indexing. Instead, it refers to adherence to social norms or rules regarding language use, particularly in terms of avoiding vulgar language in certain contexts. Indexing refers to the practice of acknowledging individual differences and avoiding generalizations or stereotypes. 14) Using time references in our statements makes what we say more accurate and factbased. This technique is called indexing. Answer: False Rationale: The statement is incorrect. Using time references in statements is not related to indexing. Indexing, as mentioned earlier, is about acknowledging individual differences and avoiding generalizations or stereotypes. 15) Indexing our statements helps us prevent generalizing and stereotyping by focusing on the unique qualities of a person or thing. Answer: True Rationale: Indexing involves using specific qualifiers or references to individualize statements and avoid overgeneralizations. It helps in recognizing and respecting the uniqueness of individuals or situations. 4.4 Matching Questions For the questions below, match the word or phrase with its meaning. a) Customary beliefs and attitudes of a racial, religious, or social group b) Things, names for objects around us c) Use of broad terms to explain ideas or concepts d) An arbitrary system of symbols that is governed by rules and conveys power e) Unspoken rules that guide our use of language f) Words that substitute for other words because they are more pleasant g) Specialized terms associated with a particular discipline, skill, or career h) Takes individual differences into account i) The use of a specific time reference to clarify a message j) Lacks directness and specificity k) Specific words that represent observable behavior or phenomena 1) Abstraction 2) Regulative rules 3) Language 4) Culture 5) Euphemisms 6) Descriptive language 7) Dating 8) Indexing 9) Technical language 10) Vague language Answers: 1) c 2) e 3) d 4) a 5) f 6) k 7) i 8) h 9) g 10) j 4.5 Essay Questions 1) Why is language symbolic? Answer: Symbols represent other things. Words are symbols, which represent people, places, feelings, and things. Words used together and understood by a large group form a language. Words help us communicate more effectively because they represent both abstract principles and concrete things we can actually see, touch, or hear. Knowledge of this language makes it possible for us to recognize the symbols others use to send their messages. 2) Explain the differences between denotative and connotative meanings. Choose a word (aggressive, dirty, cool, hot, gay, patriotic, or one of your own) and give its denotative and connotative meaning. Answer: Denotative meaning is the specific reference of a word. Connotative meaning is that which is determined by someone’s experiences, values, and culture. For example, the denotative meaning for the word “dirty” is defined by Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary as “not clean or pure.” However, different people may assign the same word a variety of other meanings. These other meanings are considered connotative. For example, Jim may define “dirty” as “profane” whereas his wife may define “dirty” as “thankless” as in “It’s a dirty job but someone’s gotta do it.” Their teenager may define “dirty” as “dishonest.” 3) Describe how ethnic/racial/social influences affect the meaning of words by discussing how a particular culture may use its own set of meanings to communicate within the United States. How does this relate to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis? What are some different ethnic, racial, and social groups within the U.S? Answer: Within the United States, the language each culture and/or subculture speaks helps maintain its identity to some degree. Not everyone who is part of a culture chooses to participate in the language, ideas, and beliefs of the culture but participation can help bind the group together. It could also insulate the group if they are not participating in communication with other cultures. This is significant because, according to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, people both perceive and describe events differently in part because of their language. Our choice of words and the way we interpret others is related to our cultural identity. Different ethnicities within the U.S. can be Polish American, Italian Americans, and Chinese Americans. Different races within the U.S. can be identified as blacks (or African Americans), Hispanics or Latinos, and Native Americans. Different social cultures can be identified as fraternities, sororities, and steelworkers. 4) Identify the four areas within the nature of language derived from its definition, and give an example of powerless language. Answer: Language is an arbitrary system of symbols that is governed by rules and conveys power. To begin, language is symbolic. We use words as the symbols to identify our thoughts and feelings. Next, language is an arbitrary system of symbols. Meaning can change depending on speaker, audience, and context, making language arbitrary in its use of symbols. Third, language is rule governed. Rules guide our use of language which we learn at an early age. Even if they are not specifically spoken to us, we are able to learn those rules through social contact. Finally, language communicates power. Powerless language can be characterized by disclaimers like, “I don’t think this is right but …” and tag questions like, “…don’t you think?” 5) Identify and give a brief description of five ways to improve verbal skills. Answer: (1) Be descriptive. We use descriptive language when we choose specific words that represent observable behavior. (2) Use dating. Dating is the use of a specific time reference to clarify a message. (3) Use indexing. Indexing is a technique that takes into account the individual differences among people, objects, and places. Indexing helps us to focus on the unique qualities of each person or thing. (4) Avoid vulgar language and profanity. Profanity and vulgar language are used to convey strong emotions or to make a point; however, this kind of language can cause more damage than it can help one’s message. (5) Eliminate generic language such as the alienating “he,” or “man.” Language must be inclusive when it refers to the entire population. Test Bank for Communication: Embracing Difference Daniel M. Dunn, Lisa J. Goodnight 9780205943661, 9780205865635, 9781269602877

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