Using Language Well: Objectives and Outline

Chapter 10: Using Language Well

By: E. Michele Ramsey, Ph.D.

Penn State Berks, Reading, PA



After reading this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Understand the power of language to define our world and our relationship to the world
  • Choose language that positively impacts the ability to inform and persuade
  • Choose language to create a clear and vivid message
  • Use language that is ethical and accurate
  • Use language to enhance his or her speaker credibility

Chapter Outline

  • Introduction
    • The Power of Language
    • Communication vs. Language
    • Language Creates Social Reality
    • The Differences Language Choices Can Make
  • Constructing Clear and Vivid Messages
    • Use Simple Language
    • Use Concrete and Precise Language
  • Using Stylized Language
    • Metaphors and Similes
    • Alliteration
    • Antithesis
    • Parallel Structure and Language
    • Personalized Language
  • The Importance of Ethical and Accurate Language
    • Language and Ethics
    • Sexist and Heterosexist Language
  • Avoiding Language Pitfalls
    • Profanity
    • Exaggeration
    • Powerless Language
    • Incorrect Grammar
    • Other Language Choices to Consider
      • Cliches
      • Language that is Central to Popular Culture
  • Conclusion
  • Review Questions and Activities
  • Glossary
  • References