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The Hazards of Proxy

Future megalomaniac leaders take note: you are only as good as your translator.

At its most basic level, communication is a process of moving information from one source to another. The purest form of this transfer comes in the form with the least amount of variable details: the written word. Unlike the spoken forms of communication, the written word is free from the subjective details that a listener considers when evaluating a speaker. Though still present, written communication benefits from a simplified system where a speaker has more control over potential incorrect interpretations. Select basic words, avoid complicated sentences, be as direct as possible- just a few suggestions one could offer to an individual needing to communicate delicately.

Spoken communication is fraught with additional details that distort speaker intention. If delivered poorly, a speaker’s message may be completely misunderstood. Verbal communication is a misnomer in that it includes details beyond the verbal delivery of information. Combined in this form are details of body language, environmental details (is it warm enough in this room?) and even the internal moods of a listener. These factors distort the listener’s interpretation and challenge the speaker who selects a verbal form of communication.

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