WHAT IS THE MEANING OF MEANING
This is not a philosophical exercise, but a conversation that addresses a critical issue that concerns you and I; as it threatens our social coexistence and peaceful interactions
Words are the building blocks of communication and speaking (as well as writing) is a scientific art just like building construction. This mean that we must be mindful of our choice of words and the pattern they form while we string them together to communicate.
I have observed the following in interpersonal and social interaction, how they have hindered healthy communication and led.to misunderstanding, hot confrontation, fight, and damage:
1. Some people do say what is different from what they actually intended based on their wrong or mindless chioce if words. They say thing that is counter productive to their expectations or preferences. They send out verbal ballistic missiles to call for peace or betterment.
2. Some say more than what they really need to say, and the additional expressions tend to overshadow the main message. For example, a child said to a woman, ” My mum said you should give me that money” and she responded, “I don’t have it yet” Then she added in a low tone, me Sha ni para mi, mi o de ni Tori gbese sakuro nilu.” Imagine what would happen when the child delivers the whole feed back to his mum.
3 Insensensitive topicalisation is another angle and the media is guilty of this.Topicalisation is bringing a word or phrase to the beginning of a sentence so that it receive much more attention than if it is placed in another part of the sentence. However, what I term insensitive topicalisation is when the media extracts a minor, a negative, a volatile expression as the caption of a news report when such was not a main or focus of the speaker’s message. This sensationalism is misdirecting and hampering social discussions.
4. Indecorous inference and outright use of infectives ( abusive words especially in the social media ) is so common now and it cripples healthy interactions. Many are no longer bothered about how hurtful their comments are. They express their opinions without restraint by attacking others for their own opinions.
The central message here is that we should be using our words or expressions carefully to convey messages in a way that does not hamper healthy communication, public interactions or peaceful coexistence, and at the same time, expresses the truth. Exactness of words in delivering the intended message is key in communication. Meaning or purpose is jeopardised when message is wrongly worded, deliberately twisted and maliciously analysed. So, say what you mean, mean what you say and receive messages as purposefully intended without undue manipulative interpretations.
I am Ademola Sarafadeen
An Advocate of Peace and Development.