I was recently reminded of a great example of euphemism designed to hide the truth, minimize the negative, and give something negative a positive spin(thanks to a NYTimes voicer): Vice-president Dick Cheney’s reference to waterboarding—a torture tactic almost universally condemned—as a “dunk in the water.”
Example is always more efficacious than precept.--Samuel Johnson


Comm Talk

Pearson Education has recently published Comm Talk: A Tool for Communication Education. This newsletter has recently gone online. It contains brief articles—mainly by Pearson textbook authors (myself included)—on various aspects of communication. My own little (one-page) piece, Little Words Mean A Lot,” gets its title from a 1954 Kitty Kallen song, Little Things Mean A Lot.
BTW, the editors ask:
“What unique strategy do you employ with your students to ensure that they have gotten your message? Beyond quizzes, asking questions, and nodding heads, what other things do you do in class to confirm that your students are learning the material?
Send your responses to communication@pearson.com by January 1, 2009 and we’ll share ideas on this topic and your responses to this question in our next issue.”


The Nonverbal Message of RED

Consider adding this to the discussion of color communication:

A recent study published in the November 2008 issue of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 95—(available online at http://psycnet.apa.org), by Andrew Elliot and Daniela Niesta finds that men view women as more desirable and more attractive when they’re wearing red than other colors. This attraction of red seems to operate below the level of conscious awareness and doesn’t seem to influence women’s attraction to men or to other women.


Here is a great tool for teaching public speaking, interpersonal communication, interviewing, small group communication, and probably a lot more. It’s a video website (www.videosurf.com) that will enable you to locate videos of speakers, television shows, news programs, and just about anything for which there’s a video. The site provides an easy way to locate just the clip you want (and may wish to assign for class discussion). It's still in beta but definitely worth a close look.