Graham Plaster

culture + diplomacy + ethics + smart power + technology + humanities + entrepreneurship + philosophy

Part 4 in a Series on Civility

Tone is important for civility. Nuance to language shapes or obscures the signal. Non verbals, objective correlatives, and tone all add to the simple things we say to make a much more complex statement than the mere words themselves. As I mentioned here, Lyotard posits that technology truncates language. We see this most clearly when tweets and texts fail to convey the original tone of the author’s message. Often something like careless capitalization or even syntax can elevate the tone in unintended, hilarious or terrible ways. When more meaning is riding on fewer words, there is much left to the imagination.

 

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