'Simpler, smaller words make more effective communication'

Using big words to extend one's meaning in the right context can be a sign of intelligence, provided it is balanced by attention on who one is speaking to, and the level of interaction one is engaging in.

This is according to UCT Professor of Linguistics Rajend Mesthrie, who spoke to #NightTalk's Gugs Mhlungu and Sizwe Dhlomo about people who use big English words unnecessarily.

I think there is a feeling that if you can express something simpler with smaller words, rather than with long bombastic terminology, then that is more effective communication

Professor Rajend Mesthrie, Professor of Linguistics at UCT

Professor Mesthrie says that the modernising ways in which people communicate has made typical communication between people more casual.

He says that it has become easier to notice when people speak in a language which is of a higher level than normal.

In the early twenty first century we are definitely having to revise our notions of good communicative practice, and I think its fair to say that the communicative mode has become much more informal, as compared to a hundred years ago

Professor Rajend Mesthrie, Professor of Linguistics at UCT

Professor Mesthrise says that when communicating with a lighter audience, whether it is through speaking or writing, one has a duty to be clear as possible.

Intelligence is not something tied up necessarily to an IQ in a test situation. It really is about being able to interact and communicate what you have to say, and to taylor it to different contexts and to different audiences

Professor Rajend Mesthrie, Professor of Linguistics at UCT

Listen to the conversation below:


Read More
Understanding the importance of living within your means

Understanding the importance of living within your means

In this week's #BeFinanciallySmart feature, FNB's Eunice Sibiya discusses the importance of living within your means.

How you can #BeFinanciallySmart and save for those big days!

How you can #BeFinanciallySmart and save for those big days!

FNB's Eunice Sibiya discusses how you can save for important annual events.

'Haiti is the missing piece in the AU'

'Haiti is the missing piece in the AU'

Ambassador of Haiti to South Africa Jacques Baril describes Haiti's historic relationship with the African continent.

'Having sex will not make you cleverer'

'Having sex will not make you cleverer'

Neurologist Professor Girish Modi describes the effect of sex on one's memory.

Money Matters: Understanding an endowment policy

Money Matters: Understanding an endowment policy

Discovery's Head of Legal Services Harry Joffe describes on #NightTalk relevant information about endowment policies.

How to survive a hostile job interview

How to survive a hostile job interview

Recruitment specialist Candice Martin describes how one can get past a hostile job interview

Popular articles
8 things you may not know about Jacques Pauw

8 things you may not know about Jacques Pauw

We thought we'd let you in on some facts about sought after, award-winning journo Jacques Pauw, author of The President's Keepers.

UCT students invent effective shower water-capturing device

UCT students invent effective shower water-capturing device

Shower Savvy is a Jerry can look-alike that one can stand on while taking a shower which stores up to 10 litres of grey water.

The President's Keepers: PDF version is tantamount to theft - Exclusive Books

The President's Keepers: PDF version is tantamount to theft - Exclusive Books

A PDF version of the book has been doing the rounds since Sars and the State Security Agency threatened legal action.

Falling out of love? Signs and stages of romantic disengagement

Falling out of love? Signs and stages of romantic disengagement

Can you love your partner, but no longer be in love with them? Dr Eve unravels stages of disaffection in romantic relationships.

Celibacy liberated me - Amanda Ndiki

Celibacy liberated me - Amanda Ndiki

Author Amanda Ndiki, celibate for 6 years describes her journey and how celibacy helped mend her sense of self.

Investing in increasingly wealthy Mauritius (Africa’s most functional democracy)

Investing in increasingly wealthy Mauritius (Africa’s most functional democracy)

Bruce Whitfield interviews Nikiwe Bikitsha, who is on a fact-finding mission in Mauritius courtesy of Standard Bank.

'The university degree is dead'

'The university degree is dead'

Flux Trends founder Dion Chang gives five reasons why he believes getting a degree is past its sell by date.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?