23 posts tagged with language and communication.
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Tips on writing for ESL readers.

I do a lot of work-related communication with people whose English is less than 100% fluent, and sometimes there are miscommunications that I think result from incomplete comprehension of the things that I say. I'd like to do what I can to minimize that. [more inside]
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The on Dec 22, 2016 - 13 answers

The meaning of "sure" regionally

What does "sure" mean in response to a question? Yes, No, or "uh, kinda maybe"? [more inside]
posted by soylent00FF00 on May 30, 2016 - 71 answers

Why is this site in English and Dutch?

In the past, I've seen that sometimes English is interspersed with another language on certain websites. This site, however, has English titles to their posts, but most everything else is in Dutch. Why? [more inside]
posted by dozo on Nov 26, 2014 - 8 answers

What's in a name? RUB: Massage, Yoga, Wellness.

What do you think of the name "Rub" for a health spa? Is it cute or dirty and why?
posted by lolo341 on Mar 21, 2014 - 34 answers

Give me some examples of rephrasing a question into a statement

I've heard that men don't like questions. I'm a woman and would like to have better relationships with the men in my life. Give me some examples of ways to rephrase questions into statements, directives or imperatives. [more inside]
posted by geekgirl397 on Mar 15, 2013 - 40 answers

How do you spot Dating Warning Phrases?

Can you help me to better distinguish cheery lovebird songs vs. the squawks of ailing canaries in my dating coal mine? [more inside]
posted by argonauta on Jan 30, 2013 - 89 answers

Improve my elocution!

How can I work on a more "natural" delivery (emphasis, pitch, etc.) when reading books aloud? [more inside]
posted by yersinia on Nov 16, 2011 - 9 answers


What slang words have gone out of date within the past 10 years or so? [more inside]
posted by naju on Mar 7, 2010 - 82 answers

Isn't this great? I mean doesn't this suck?

Language question: I'm searching for a word or phrase (in English or any language) that describes the act of communicating a positive opportunity/event/thing but then includes qualifiers that downplay the opportunity/event/thing. [more inside]
posted by surfgator on Feb 9, 2010 - 18 answers

List of forms of communication?

I'm trying to make an large/exhaustive list of different types of human communication, especially (but not at all limited to) the digital variety. Help me out? [more inside]
posted by Jebdm on Aug 15, 2009 - 26 answers

Distinct written and spoken languages

Are there any human cultures, past or present, which have developed completely (or largely) distinct spoken and written languages? [more inside]
posted by nthdegx on Apr 20, 2009 - 22 answers

don't condescend...

How does one properly use the term condescend (or condescending)? Is there a correct way? Is there a more popular way? It seems the word expresses two contradictory meanings. [more inside]
posted by es_de_bah on Mar 10, 2009 - 13 answers


How do people who communicate in languages without capital letters yell at each other online? [more inside]
posted by millipede on Aug 28, 2008 - 10 answers

Oh, so you're a [insert profession here]! How [insert whacky generalization and misguided curiosity here]?

What is the first question people ask when you tell them what you do? Are there common misconceptions or generalizations that people make? How do you tactfully and/or humorously correct them? [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on Apr 28, 2008 - 156 answers

Defining the Japanese Concept of 'Ma'

What do you know about the Japanese word/concept of 'Ma'? I know it denotes the negative space between objects and it relates closely to the similarly used Japanese word 'Mu'. [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Dec 27, 2007 - 15 answers

Help me translate two phrases into Farsi

Help me speak and write two phrases in Farsi. [more inside]
posted by perissodactyl on Apr 29, 2007 - 2 answers

Is the internet "dumbing down" language?

Help me find evidence contrary to this analysis that claims the internet causes language to be "dumbed down". As Hemingway said: "Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?"
posted by Acey on Jan 14, 2007 - 23 answers

My vocabulary is large, it contains multitudes

LanguageArts: to the bilingual (or more) people in the hive... [more inside]
posted by seawallrunner on Sep 5, 2006 - 24 answers

language-challenged relationships

I have been spending a lot of evenings with my boyfriend's grandmother who is almost 80 and speaks only Farsi. Any tips on hanging out with people in a language-challenged situation?
posted by tingting on Aug 11, 2006 - 14 answers

Antarctic base developed a private language based on a videotape?

UrbanLegendFilter: Anyone ever hear of the isolated Antarctic base where the crew watched the same videotape over and over, went crazy, and started speaking their own private language? [more inside]
posted by rwhe on Aug 3, 2006 - 19 answers

A question about sign language.

A question for those familiar with American Sign Language (or other signed languages): When hearing speakers are surprised or shocked or wish to indicate they have just said something they shouldn't they often clap their hands over their mouth. This is usually immediate and seems almost involuntary. Is there something similar used by deaf signers or do they tend to use the same gesture hearing people do? [more inside]
posted by LeeJay on Apr 9, 2006 - 9 answers

Is music a universal language?

Music and emotions [more inside]
posted by knave on Mar 20, 2006 - 19 answers

Business communication doesn't use question marks. (?)

People in my company often use a period instead of a question mark at the end of an interrogative sentence. I pointed this out to an old boss as I was proofing one of his e-mails, and he told me this is standard custom now in business communication. Is this so? What the hell? [more inside]
posted by Shane on Mar 25, 2004 - 44 answers

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