Communication & Intension

Janet Wilson CCharJan at AOL.COM
Fri Feb 23 03:27:54 UTC 2001

Intent is a very important part of communication by means of language--I
haven't studied other kinds of communication very much (not academically,
anyway).  However, it is true that the speaker's intended effect is not
always the effect that results.  I sometimes think of (speech) communication
as a little like a ouija board:  each speaker has his or her input, and if
nobody intended to have any effect, the little thing on the board (I don't
spend much time with ouija boards) wouldn't go anyplace.  But I have also had
the experience that my contribution to the discourse takes the discourse
anyplace but where I intended it to go.

Communication does take place without language, of course, but nobody in this
discussion has yet persuaded me one way or the other about how intension
figures into that kind of communication.  This is the kind of discussion that
got me interested in the Funknet in the first place, though.

Janet Wilson
U Texas Arlington

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