People who know each other share jokes and conversational shorthand. Such high-context language strengthens their bonds, but also excludes those who don't understand. In this video, consider the costs and benefits of using high-context language—including technical jargon—in light of the audience you're trying to reach.
- I'll bet that you and your friends share some word…or look or gesture that'll make you laugh,…just because it reminds you of something funny in your past.…But if tried to say it or do it with anybody else,…they'd just stare at you.…That is an example of high context language.…It's where a small amount of expression…conveys a huge amount of meaning,…because the speaker and the hearer both know the context…that created the shorthand in the first place.…You can bring that magic to any kind of writing,…but only if you do it carefully.…
For example, Kentucky Fried Chicken's slogan…of finger lickin' good has no g…at the end of that word lickin',…implying a regional Kentucky accent.…And so it conveys a taste…that finger licking good simply doesn't.…Kentucky chicken, Kentucky culture.…The opposite of high context communication is, of course,…low context communication.…Let's compare.…High context communication relies on common knowledge,…and so can use shorthand.…
In low context communications you have to be explicit…about everything you say.…
- Paraphrase the goals of “write short, write clear, and write right.”
- Recall the strategy used to make long paragraphs easier to read.
- Identify the most-often portion of the page neglected by English-language readers.
- Determine which words to omit from writing.
- Explain why short paragraphs are easy to skim.
- Name two strategies to write more effectively.
- Identify examples of assonance.