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Communication

  • ... letters are venerable; and the telephone valiant, for the journey is a lonely one, and if bound together by notes and telephones we went in company, perhaps — who knows? — we might talk by the way.

  • ... the more people are reached by mass communications, the less they communicate with each other.

  • ... good communication is stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.

  • It is not restful, it is not possible to talk wholeheartedly to more than one person at a time. You can't really talk with a person unless you surrender to them, for the moment (all other talk is futile). You can't surrender to more than one person a moment.

  • The effect of successful communication is to increase the common area of understanding about viewpoints and ideas. The motive behind communication is to create unity between ourselves and others. Mostly we feel separate from others. Good communication makes us feel as if we are unified with others. This is the result of mutually beneficial interpretations of ideas and viewpoints. It is possible to exchange 'facts' without increasing the common area of understanding or creating unity. In this case there is only the simplest raw data being transferred. If the data is not meaningful as it is, then we need to communicate information. Information is the interpretation of data. Any condition that requires information requires communication.

  • Once a human being has arrived on this earth, communication is the largest single factor determining what kinds of relationships he makes with others and what happens to him in the world about him.

  • You simply cannot communicate enough. Experts say that you have to tell the average adult something six times before it is internalized. The challenge becomes communicating a message in such a creative way that it only has to be told once!

  • Anything you can do to creatively jazz up the memos and communications you send will result in more people actually reading them.

  • The inability to hear is a nuisance; the inability to communicate is the tragedy.

  • ... the body, seeking truth, sends a signal. But decoding it, interpreting its meaning, and knowing how to proceed from there is another matter entirely.

  • ... all communication is more or less cross-cultural. We learn to use language as we grow up, and growing up in different parts of the country, having different ethnic, religious, or class backgrounds, even just being male or female — all result in different ways of talking ...

  • You are always in command of a situation where you control the communication system.

  • Previous technologies have expanded communication. But the last round may be contracting it. The eloquence of letters has turned into the unnuanced spareness of texts; the intimacy of phone conversations has turned into the missed signals of mobile phone chat ... ('you're breaking up' is the cry of our time) ...

  • Sometimes there is greater lack of communication in facile talking than in silence.

  • We are all so clumsy, my dear, and words are all we have, poor signals like bonfires and flags trying to express what shipwreck is.

    • Rose Wilder Lane,
    • 1927, in William Holtz, ed., Dorothy Thompson and Rose Wilder Lane: Forty Years of Friendship ()
  • On occasions, he felt completely misunderstood, rather like a chicken talking to a duck.