Public Speaking Ch 12- Using Language

What are the two kinds of meanings words can have?

Denotative and Connotative

What is denotative meaning?

The literal or dictionary meaning of a word or phrase

What is a connotative meaning?

The meaning suggested by the associations or emotions triggered by a word of phrase

How can one ensure that there are no misunderstandings in language?

Use familiar words
Choose concrete words
Eliminate clutter

What are concrete words?

Words that refer to tangible objects

What are the two most important ways to use vivid language?


What are the three ways to generate imagery?

Using concrete words

When used effectively what can imagery do?

Make abstract ideas concrete
Clarify the unknown
Express feelings and emotions

What are the four basic stylistic devices to improve rhythm?


What is parallelism?

The similar arrangement of a pair or series of related words, phrases or sentences.

What is repetition?

Reiteration of the same word or set of words at the beginning or end of successive clauses or sentences.

What is alliteration?

Repetition of the initial consonant sound of close or adjoining words

What is antithesis?

The juxtaposition of contrasting ideas, usually in parallel structure

What should one be mindful regarding the appropriateness of language?

Appropriateness to the occasion
Appropriateness to the audience
Appropriateness to the topic
Appropriateness to the speaker

What is inclusive language?

Language that does not stereotype, demean, or patronize people on the basis of gender, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or other factors

What are tips to use inclusive language?

Avoid the generic he
Avoid using man when referring to both men and women
Avoid stereotyping jobs and social roles by gender
Use names that groups use to identify themselves