diciembre 2018
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Verbal Communication

THE LIVING SISTERS  ⇓  Video by Michel Gondry [2011]

How are you doing?  How are you doing?
I’ll be fine, how about you?
I’m fine too

How is it going?  How is it going?
Yes it goes, what about you?
It goes for me too.

Nothing new, can’t complain  –  Skies are blue, sunshine or rain
Something to eat, watch a show  –  After that, I’ll sleep like a baby

What are you up to?  What are you up to?
Not much, nothing to do
What about you?  What about you?

Me too

After hours, … are sweet   –   Holding hands, watching tv
Nothing to say, nowhere to go  –  After that, I’ll sleep like a baby

How are you doing?  How are you doing?
I’m fine, what about you?  I’m fine, what about you?
I’m fine, what about you?  I’m fine, what about you?
Me too  –  Me too  –  Me too

*      *      *

‘WORDS ARE POWERFUL’  ···  Idioms / Euphemisms / Slang [LOL] / (Dis)confirmation . . .

•  ‘I Got a Feeling’   ⇑  (Black Eyed Peas)

I gotta feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night . . .

Tonight’s the night  –  Let’s live it up
I got my money  –  Let’s spend it up
Go out and smash it  like Oh My God
Jump off that sofa  –  Let’s get get OFF
I know that we’ll have a ball
If we get down and go out
And just loose it all
I feel stressed out – I wanna let it go
Let’s go way out spaced out
And loosing all control
Fill up my cup  –  Mozoltov
Look at her dancing  –  Just take it  off
Let’s paint the town – We’ll shut it down
Let’s burn the roof and then we’ll do it again

Let’s Do it   . . .  and live it up
I gotta feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night . . .

Tonight’s the night  –  Let’s live it up  (…)
I got my money  –  Let’s spend it up  (…)
Go out and smash it  like Oh My God
Jump off that sofa  –  Let’s get get OFF
Fill up my cup    (Drink)
Mozolotov     (Lahyme)
Look at her dancing    (Move it Move it)
Just take it off
Let’s paint the town
We’ll shut it down
Let’s burn the roof
And then we’ll do it again
Let’s do it   . . .  Let’s live it up

Here we come  Here we go – We gotta rock
Easy come  Easy go – Now we on top
Feel the shot  –  Body rock  –  Rock it don’t stop
Round and round – Up and down  –  Around the clock
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,
Friday, Saturday, Saturday and Sunday
Get get get get get
With us you know what we say
Party everyday p-p-p-party
Party everyday
I gotta feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night . . .

                short_answers &  Short forms ⇐

¶  Softening  . . . ⇐

Sometimes we want to soften the impact of what we’re saying … Try the quizzes too!

Φ   Ways of speaking … ⇒[01] ⇔ [02] ⇔ [03]⇐ 
  • speak: make use of words in a normal voice. _ May I speak to George?
  • talk: speak to give information, say things. _ What are they talking about?
  • hesitate: be slow to speak (or act) because one is uncertain or unwilling to talk. _ He hesitated before answering my question.
  • whisper: speak softly, without vibrating the vocal cords, privately or secretly._She whispered the secret word in my ear.
  • hiss: say something in a loud whisper. (Snakes also hiss)._‘Get out!’ she hissed at me furiously.
  • mumble: speak unclearly, so that others can’t hear._He mumbled something at me which I didn’t understand.
  • mutter: speak in a low voice, which is hard to hear._She was muttering something to herself as she went out.
  • murmur: speak in a soft, quiet voice that is difficult to hear clearly._The classmates murmured during the test.
  • hum: make a low continuous sound, when you take a long time deciding what to say._She hummed at the beginning of the oral exam.
  • grunt: make short sounds or say a few words in a rough voice, when you don’t want to talk. (Pigs also grunt)._She grunted a few words and left the table.
  • stammer: speak with pauses and repeating the same sound or syllable, habitually or from fear or excitement.‘_P-p-please give me the p-p-pen,’ he stammered.
  • stutter: stammer._‘P-p-please give me the p-p-pen,’ he stuttered.
  • quaver: speak tremulously, because you are nervous or upset._Her voice quavered for a moment but then she regained control.
  • lisp: speak with /th/ sounds instead of /s/ sounds._You’re very thilly, Thimon. (You’re very silly, Simon.)
  • babble = gabble: talk foolishly, in a way difficult to understand._Her fever made her babble without stopping.
  • ramble: talk continuously, in a confused way._Stop rambling and get to the point, please!
  • slur: speak unclearly, without separating the words correctly._He was so drunk that he slurred to the bartender for more.
  • chat: have a friendly informal conversation._They chatted away in the corner.
  • chatter: talk quickly and at length about something unimportant._Please stop chattering, I’m trying to listen to the TV!
  • gossip: talk about the affairs of other people._She was gossiping about her neighbours all day.
  • whine: complain in a sad, annoying voice about something._‘I don’t want to go,’ whined Peter.
  • croak: speak with a deep hoarse voice._She had such a terrible cold that she could only croak.
  • blurt out: say something suddenly and tactlessly._She blurted out the bad news before I could stop her.
  • snap: say something quickly in an angry way._‘What do you want?’ the waiter snapped.
  • splutter: talk quickly in short confused phrases, in anger or surprise._‘But… what… where… how could you?’ she spluttered.
  • blah

 Collocations with “TALK” …  ⇒[01] ⇔ [02]⇐    

•→Verbal Communication Skills

⇓  How to end a conversation politely 

¤  Debates & Discussions ⇐ (Compiled by Marina Canapero):

Controversial Topics⇐ / ⇒Money⇐ / ⇒Tax⇐ / ⇒Movies⇐ / ⇒Stereotypes⇐ / ⇒Risk⇐ / ⇒Pornography⇐ / ⇒Sex⇐ / ⇒Terrorism⇐ / ⇒War⇐ . . .

♦  Conversation Skills  ⇓ (exchanging opinions, agreeing, disagreeing…)⇐quiz

•→ 10 English phrases for CHANGING YOUR MIND   ⇐



¤  Being sarcastic ← [quotes]

People are sarcastic when they say the opposite of the truth, or the opposite of their true feelings in order to be funny or to make a point. It is often thought that along with drinking tea and waiting in queues, the British have a fondness for sarcasm.

•→ Listen to mp3⇐    /   •→ Read script⇐

Φ  Some common examples of sarcasm

Remember to judge when and with whom to be sarcastic – you can offend people with inappropriate use of this language.

After something bad or annoying happens:
Oh terrific / great / brilliant!  That’s just what I need.

After something unsurprising happens:
Well what a surprise!

After somebody makes a mistake:
Oh nice one!   /   Oh well done!

After someone says something obvious:
No?!  Really?  You’re quick / clever!

Φ  The language of sarcasm

There are no fixed rules about what language to use when being sarcastic, but the following features are quite common (but this language is used when people aren’t being sarcastic too!):

Tag questions:
Of course, you’re the real expert at driving, aren’t you?

‘Yes’ … ‘because’:
You can use this to disagree or argue with someone by seeming to agree:

A: Slow down! You’re driving too fast!
B: Yeah right, ‘cause you never drive too fast, do you?

‘I forgot’:
A: Slow down! You’re driving too fast!
B: Sorry, I forgot you were the expert driver! How many times have you crashed in the last year?

‘If’ … ‘must’:
Well if you read it on the Internet it must be true!

Φ  Make it clear that you are being sarcastic

It’s really important that your conversation partner realises that you are being sarcastic. Here are a couple of ways of doing this:

Exaggerate your feelings using strong words and a lively intonation. So if something bad happens, instead of saying ‘Good, I’m glad that’s happened’ try ‘Great! That’s just what we need!’

People will also sometimes use old-fashioned English to exaggerate: ‘Gosh, you’re quick!’ ‘I say, that’s a surprise!’

 Sometimes, the situation will make it obvious that you are being sarcastic and you don’t need to worry about people misunderstanding you. But if you are worried that people might misunderstand you, then after your sarcastic comment, say

‘Just kidding!’  or  ‘I’m only joking!’   or  ‘I’m sorry! … I’m just being sarcastic.’

If you want to be sarcastic in writing (for example in an email), try putting an exclamation mark in brackets after your sarcastic comment, like this: ‘So then we visited an enormous steam train museum and you can just imagine what fun that was(!)’

•→Example dialogues [pdf] / •→Listen to mp3 // •→How to be sarcastic  [quiz]


♦  Six idioms about talking  ↓  [explanation + practice]

to shoot the breeze / speak the same language / talk a mile a minute / spill the beans /
talk someone into something / talk someone out of something  
♦  King Crimson  ↓  ‘Elephant Talk’

Talk, it’s only talk
Arguments, agreements, advice, answers,
Articulate announcements
It’s only talk

Talk, it’s only talk
Babble, burble, banter, bicker bicker bicker
Brouhaha, boulderdash, ballyhoo
It’s only talk
Back talk

Talk talk talk, it’s only talk
Comments, cliches, commentary, controversy
Chatter, chit-chat, chit-chat, chit-chat,
Conversation, contradiction, criticism
It’s only talk
Cheap talk

Talk, talk, it’s only talk
Debates, discussions
These are words with a D this time
Dialogue, dualogue, diatribe, dissention, declamation
Double talk,  double talk

Talk, talk, it’s only talk
Too much talk
Small talk
Talk that trash
Expressions, editorials, expugnations, exclamations, enfadulations
It’s all talk
Elephant talk,  elephant talk

♦  Liz Lochhead  ↓  “Men talk”  [poem]

¤  Grice’s Conversational Maxims 

 Paul Grice [1913-1988] showed that many aspects of utterance meaning traditionally regarded as conventional, or semantic, could be more explanatorily treated as conversational, or pragmatic. For Gricean pragmatists, the crucial feature of pragmatic interpretation is its inferential nature: the hearer is seen as constructing and evaluating a hypothesis about the communicator’s intentions, based, on the one hand, on the meaning of the sentence uttered, and on the other, on contextual information and general communicative principles that speakers are normally expected to observe.

“Pragmatics” was defined by Charles W. Morris (1938) as the branch of semiotics that studies the relation of signs to interpreters, in contrast with semantics, which studies the relation of signs to designata.

In 1975, Paul Grice proposed the following conversational maxims in Logic and Conversation”: “I wish to represent a certain subclass of nonconventional implicatures, which I shall call CONVERSATIONAL implicatures, as being essentially connected with certain general features of discourse; so my next step is to try to say what these features are.”

“…Our talk exchanges do not normally consist of a succession of disconnected remarks, and would not be rational if they did. They are characteristically, to some degree at least, cooperative efforts; and each participant recognizes in them, to some extent, a common purpose or set of purposes, or at least a mutually accepted direction […] We might then formulate a rough general principle which participants will be expected (ceteris paribus) to observe, namely: Make your conversational contribution such as is required, at the stage at which it occurs, by the accepted purpose or direction of the talk exchange in which you are engaged. One might label this the COOPERATIVE PRINCIPLE.”

• The category of QUANTITY relates to the quantity of information to be provided, and under it fall the following maxims:
1. Make your contribution as informative as is required (for the current purposes of the exchange).
2. Do not make your contribution more informative than is required.
• Under the category of QUALITY falls a supermaxim
– ‘Try to make your contribution one that is true’ – and two more specific maxims:
1. Do not say what you believe to be false.
2. Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence.
•  A single maxim under the category of RELATION, namely
– ‘Be relevant.’
•  Finally, under the category of MANNER, the supermaxim
– ‘Be perspicuous’ – and various maxims such as:
1. Avoid obscurity of expression.
2. Avoid ambiguity.
3. Be brief (avoid unnecessary prolixity).
4. Be orderly.
“There have been criticisms of these maxims, both for not reflecting the full range of human communication, including dishonesty, and also for being parochial, not universal in terms of cultural accuracy. However, as guides to politeness or giving due consideration to your listener, they are still worth knowing.” 
=   =   =

• wikihow.com/Break-Bad-News →


•→ Giving & Responding to Good & Bad News ←

“…We usually don’t just blurt out the bad news; we tell the person who’s receiving bad news that we’re going to tell them something they’re not going to like…” 

“I’m sorry to say…/tell you (that)…” / “I’m afraid (that)…” / “I regret to inform you (that)…”  ⇓

“There’s no nice/easy way to say this…” / “There’s good news and bad news…” / “You might want to sit down before you hear this…” / “Brace yourself…”

♦  Paying  compliments  ⇓

¤  English for Emergency Situations
•→ Talking About Fear  ⇔ [vid + quiz←]


I was shocked to hear…

The news came as a complete shock.

Everyone’s reeling from the shock of…

I (just) can’t get over ….

We were completely taken aback by…

I was just stunned by…

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