Some Definitions and Meanings of Communication

Communication comes from the Latin word communis, means common. When we communicate we are trying to establish a “commonness” with someone. That is we are trying to share information, an idea, or an attitude. At this moment I am trying to communicate to you the idea that the essence of communication is getting the receiver and the sender “tuned together for a particular message. At this same moment, someone somewhere is excitedly phoning the fire department that the house is on fire. Somewhere else a newspaper is trying to persuade its readers to believe as it does about a particular party. All these are forms of communication, and the process in each case is essentially the same.

Some Definitions and Meanings of Communication

  1. A sending, giving or exchanging of information, ideas etc.
  2. A process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs or behavior also a technique for expressing ideas effectively in a speech.
  3. A giving or exchanging of information, signals or messages by talk, gestures, writing etc., system of sending or receiving messages, as by telephone, telegraph, radio etc.
  4. An act or fact of communication; intercourse by words, letters or messages and an interchange of ideas or opinions.
  5. Communication – the imparting, conveying, or exchange of ideas, (whether by speech, writing or signs) – Oxford English Dictionary
  6. Communication – the transfer of thoughts and messages, as contrasted with transportation, the transfer of goods and persons. The basic forms of communication are by signs (sight) and by sounds (hearing) – Columbia Encyclopaedia
  7. In the most general sense, we have communication whenever one system, a source, influences another, the destination, by manipulation of alternative signals which can be transmitted over the channel connecting them – Charles Osgood, A Vocabulary for Talking about Communication.
  8. The word communication is used in a very broad sense to include all the procedures by which one mind may affect another. This, of course, involves not only written and oral speech, but also music, the pictorial arts, the theatre, the ballot, and in fact all human behavior. In some connections it may be desirable to use a still broader definition of communication, namely one which would include the procedures by means of wt hone mechanism (say automatic equipment to track all airplane and to compute its probably future positions, affects another mechanism (say a guided missile chasing this airplane)”. Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver, The Mathematical Theory of Communication.
  9. The mechanism through which human relations exist and develop – all the symbols of the mind, together with the means of conveying them through space and preserving them in time” – Charles Cooley.

Each of these definitions has its own strength and its own usefulness. The first two are based on the idea of transfer of information; they distinguish between the transfer of more material things. The third and fourth definitions rest on the idea of influence or effect, rather than a transfer of anything. Notice that they do not limit the nature of the message to anything by “signals” The ninth definition is noteworthy for its emphasis on human relationship Today we might define communication simply by saying that it is the sharing of an orientation toward a set of informational signs Communication can be understood as the passing of information in humans. In a broader sense communication can refer to almost any type of movement, be it matter, energy, force or some effect Space and time might be the only things that can’t themselves be communicated.

Human communication refers to the social interaction of giving and receiving information for the purpose of not only understanding but also facilitating social connection. As social animals, communication facilitates our natural and innate desire to connect with one another create interpersonal relationships and maintain and encourage social bonds. Communication allows humans to express the shared set of physical, emotional and psychological needs that are alive inside us at any given moment. When we experience need-deprivation or need-satisfaction, communication allows us to give this information to others for the purpose of enriching life for ourselves and others. Enriching life refers to the innate human desire to contribute to our own and others well-being through the process of interacting socially and connecting empathetically.

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As developed below, communication happens at many levels (even for one single action), in many different ways, and for all beings, and some machines. Many or all, fields of study dedicate some attention to communication, so when speaking about communication it is very important to be sure about what kind of communication are we speaking about mainly: what type of things are communicated, between what agents, and with what kind of results. Communicustodia is the Latin term for a writ which lay for a lord whose tenant holding by knight’s service died and left his eldest son under age, against a stranger who entered the land and obtained the wardship.

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