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Pronounce it right

My final comments on nonverbal communication relate to the pronunciation of words. Yes, I know, pronunciation is a verbal act. But to me it falls into the nonverbal category because it has nothing to do with meaning. If I say ''potAto'' and you say ''potAHto,'' we send the same information even though we might be sending a slightly different message. At least it tells something about the speaker. But what? Well, for one thing, it tells me that you're not from my part of the country.

Suppose you hear a speaker say ''nuc-yu-lur'' instead of ''nuclear'' or ''ath-uh-lete'' instead of ''athlete.'' Again, the information we receive from ''nuc-yu-lur'' and ''ath-uh-lete'' is the same as from ''nuclear'' and ''athlete,'' but we get the message that the person who says ''nuc-yu-lur'' and ''ath-a-lete'' is, to say the least, just a bit careless of pronunciation. Could that mean the person is also careless with facts?


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