Friday, September 30, 2011

Rajarata University of Sri Lanka -Classroom Test-Assignment Marks- Internal Degree -Level -1 Semester -2 -30.09.2011

1.PWCKP B pass 6.0 (Improve spelling,punctuation and grammar)
2.KN B pass 6.0 (Improve spelling, punctuation and grammar)
3.GG C pass 4.0 (Improve spelling,punctuation, grammar and handwriting)
4.KAN B pass 6.0 (Improve spelling, punctuation and grammar)
5.TJ Absent (You will lose 10 marks)

8.5 A+
7.0 A
6.5 A-
6.0 B+
5.5 B
5.0 C+
4.0 C

D.N. Aloysius
Subject Coordinator/English
Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
Rajarata University of Sri Lanka

Mother Courage -Major Themes

Lower Classes during Wartime
From the first image--a nameless "Sergeant" and "Recruiting Officer" freezing in a field--Brecht's play sets its focus firmly on the lower classes affected by wars. No historically significant figures (General Tilly or the Kaiser, for example) make appearances in the play, being mentioned only in passing. Mother Courage, her family, and her companions are all the "little people," and it is their story which Brecht finds interesting. They usually are unable to extract any benefit from the war. Notice, too, how often minor characters in the play are given only a profession or a description rather than a proper name: we have peasants, numerous soldiers, generals, clerks, captains, officers, and even chaplains. This is not just because they are stock characters.
Key scenes to analyze in writing about this theme: Scenes 1, 5, 11, and 12.
"Parachutists are dropped like bombs," Brecht once wrote, "and bombs do not need courage. Real courage would be refusing to get into the plane in the first place." This idea points toward the remarkable irony with which Mother Courage's nickname is imbued. That is, the play suggests that her courage is as questionable as her motherhood. She gets her nickname from driving loaves through the bombardment of Riga before they become too moldy (see Scene 1), but this might be rashness rather than true courage. Moreover, in light of Brecht's lines above, real courageousness seems to involve opting out of the war and its capitalism altogether, something Mother Courage never does, although it is hard to see her alternatives as one of the "little people."
Mother Courage herself seems to see this idea: real courage requires persistence enough to make a significant, life-threatening change, as Kattrin does at the end of Scene 11. Consider when Mother Courage advises the young soldier about the Great Capitulation in Scene 4--but this insight does not survive with her to the end of the play.
Key scenes to analyze in writing about this theme: Scenes 1, 2, 4, and 11.
Families and Parenthood
The play examines war not just as a capitalistic system but also on a domestic level. It is central to the emotional impact of the play that it is about a mother and her children. Mother Courage's treatment of (particularly) Kattrin and Swiss Cheese emphasizes the difficulty of combining her role of "mother" with her professional role of "canteen woman." One of the play's key questions is whether her trading helps or hinders her family--it is the only way for them to survive, but it results in the deaths of all of her children. Significantly, whenever one of the children die, Brecht ensures that Mother Courage is distracted by business affairs.
It also is interesting to examine Kattrin's journey (as by far the most important of the children) through the play in light of how far her development, desires, and growing sexuality are repressed and damaged by the fact that her mother is a wartime canteen woman.
Key scenes to analyze in writing about this theme: Scenes 1, 3, 9, 11, and 12.
War as Capitalism
Brecht was a lifelong socialist. After the First World War, the idea began to become more popular that war was often associated with financial gain. From this point of view, Brecht's purpose in writing the play was to show that in wartime "you need a big pair of scissors in order to get your cut." War, as the play portrays it, is itself a capitalist system designed to make profit for just a few players, and it is perpetuated for that purpose.
Therefore, despite the fact that she is constantly trying to make profit from it, Mother Courage is destined to lose by trading during the war; only the fat cats at the top of the system have a real chance of profiting from it. People in this play are always looking to get their cut, large or small, and it is no accident that the original text repeats the verb kriegen, to "wage"--that is, to wage war (Krieg), but also meaning to "get" or "acquire."
Key scenes to analyze in writing about this theme: Scenes 1, 3, and 7.
Silence and Dumbness
Kattrin's dumbness is deeply symbolic. That is, real virtue and goodness are silenced in the time of war. Brecht even makes clear that Kattrin's dumbness is due directly to the war: "a soldier stuck something in her mouth when she was small." The play itself deals similarly with several significant silences: Mother Courage's refusal to complain after the Song of the Great Capitulation, the chaplain's denial of his own faith when the Catholics arrive in Scene 3 ("All good Catholics here!"), and the way Mother Courage denies her own son at the end of the scene, first in life and then in death. Weigel's silent scream at the end of this scene is itself an emblem of how war neuters human response.
An antithesis to dumbness is eloquence, and Kattrin's death (itself conducted through loud noises, and answered by the noises from the town after she has died) is perhaps the single most eloquent act in the play.
Key scenes to analyze in writing about this theme: Scenes 3, 6, and 11.
A common critical discussion about the play is whether or not it is a tragedy. Brecht perhaps did not write it as one, titling his play "A Chronicle of the Thirty Years' War" and aiming to make connections to contemporary issues. But some critics have argued that, in line with Brecht's guidance about Mother Courage's failure to learn, the play is perhaps Mother Courage's tragedy. After all, her children die and she never profits appreciably from the war.
Such a discussion depends much on how "tragedy" is defined. For instance, it is worth noting that, in addition to Mother Courage's failure to learn, Brecht assigns each of her children a "tragic flaw" which is repeated throughout the play: Eilif is "dashing," Swiss Cheese is "honest," and Kattrin "suffers from pity."
To research this theme more, after reading a theoretical work on tragedy (such as Aristotle's Poetics), one could ask the following questions: is Mother Courage herself responsible for the events of the play? That is, would events go differently if only Mother Courage were different? Does the play arouse a catharsis as the curtain comes down? Is the play merely sad or a true tragedy?
Key scenes to analyze in writing about this theme: Scenes 1, 4, 6, and 12.
Brecht's view of religion in this play is blatantly clear: it is of little help, and is often a hindrance, during wartime. Religion is portrayed through the sniveling, hypocritical figure of the Chaplain, and it has little positive role to play. The Chaplain changes his allegiances (for example, dusting out his clerical robes when peace is announced) at the drop of a hat (see Scene 6 for the point at which his character becomes clearest). At the very end, the prayers of the peasants are juxtaposed with Kattrin climbing the rooftop, suggesting ineffective inaction among the religious versus effective action by Kattrin.
The text, like all of Brecht's work, is steeped in a complex knowledge of the Old Testament, but the play itself makes little concession to religion as a positive influence on society.
Key scenes to analyze in writing about this theme: Scenes 2, 3, 6, and 8.
War as Order
In the first scene, there is a grotesque description of how the citizens of the world rely on war to hold civilization together. An audience member might be forgiven for dismissing it as an opening joke. Yet, the idea of war as order, "peace as war undeclared," as the Chaplain has it--recurs throughout, and the Chaplain believably expresses very similar sentiments at various points in the play.
Mother Courage herself is an emblem of the way the play's society seems to depend upon the perpetuity of war and, for the brief time while peace is declared, peace is often described as a disaster rather than the end of a devastating war. Is war actually the axis on which the society of the play turns? Is the nature of man antagonistic rather than cooperative?
Key scenes to analyze in writing about this theme: Scenes 1, 5, 6, 7, and 8.
Feeding the War
Scene 2, outside and inside the General's kitchen, introduces the Cook and the idea of "feeding the war." The Cook's name is "Lamb," and though he becomes a sacrificial lamb later in the play when the food runs out, the idea of being a lamb also suggests a way that his role reflects the mission of the whole army. The play opens with a conversation between a sergeant and a recruiting officer about how difficult it is to find enough soldiers to fill the quota--the war's appetite is greater than the available resources can satisfy. The Cook and the whole army feed society's appetite for war.
Throughout the play, nevertheless, starvation recurs. The lack of men in Scene 1 becomes the more literal lack of good meat in Scene 2. The lack of such food, by the bleak ending of the play, has become manifest across the whole country. In Scene 9, trade has had to stop because food is no longer growing.

Mother Courage and Her Children Summary

Mother Courage and Her Children Summary
The play is set in Europe during the Thirty Years' War. Mother Courage, a canteen woman, pulls her cart with her three children (Eilif, Kattrin, and Swiss Cheese) in the wake of the army, trading with the soldiers and attempting to make profit from the war.
We are first introduced to a Recruiting Officer and a Sergeant, who complain about the difficulty of recruiting soldiers for the war. Mother Courage's cart is pulled on and, distracting her with the promise of a transaction, the Recruiting Officer leads Eilif off. One of her children is now gone.
Two years later, we find Mother Courage haggling with the General's Cook over a capon. On the other side of the stage, Eilif is praised by the General for heroically slaughtering some peasants and stealing their cattle. Eilif sings "The Song of the Girl and the Soldier," and his mother joins in. She then berates him for risking his life so stupidly.
Three years later, Swiss Cheese has taken a job as the regiment's paymaster. Yvette Pottier, the camp prostitute, sings "The Song of Fraternization" to warn Kattrin about the horrors of a relationship with a soldier. The Cook and the Chaplain arrive to greet Mother Courage with a message from Eilif, and there is suddenly a Catholic attack. The Chaplain discards his robes, and Swiss Cheese hides the regiment's paybox.
Later the same evening, Swiss Cheese is followed when he attempts to return the paybox to his General but is captured. Mother Courage mortgages her cart to Yvette and tries to bargain with the soldiers using the money--but she bargains for too long, and Swiss Cheese is shot. Mother Courage denies his body when it is brought to her to be identified, so it is thrown into a pit.
The next scene finds Mother Courage waiting to complain outside the Captain's tent. She sings the "Song of the Great Capitulation" to a young soldier who also has come to complain to the Captain. The song, which has the moral "everyone gives in sooner or later," leads to the soldier's storming out, and Courage herself ends up deciding that she doesn't want to complain.
On the day of the funeral of General Tilly, Mother Courage undertakes a stock check, and she talks at length with the Chaplain about whether or not the war will continue. He convinces her that it will, so she decides to invest in more stock for her cart. The Chaplain suggests that Mother Courage could marry him, but he is rejected. Kattrin appears and returns to her mother, severely disfigured, having collected some merchandise. Mother Courage thus curses the war.
In the following brief scene, Courage sings a song that praises the war as a good provider. Business is good for now.
Two peasants wake up Mother Courage, trying to sell her some bedding, shortly before the news breaks that peace has broken out. The Cook returns, unpaid by the regiment, and he instigates an argument between Mother Courage and the Chaplain. Yvette makes her second appearance, now a rich widow, much older and fatter, and reveals that the Cook was once her lover. Mother Courage leaves for the town, and Eilif is dragged along by soldiers. Again he has slaughtered some peasants and stolen their cattle, but it is now peacetime. He is executed for it, but his mother never finds out. She returns with the news that the war is back on again, and she now returns to business with the Cook in tow.
The seventeenth year of the war finds the world in a bleak condition, with nothing to trade and nothing to eat. The Cook inherits an inn in Utrecht and invites Mother Courage to run it with him, but he refuses to take Kattrin. Mother Courage is forced to turn him down, so the two go their separate ways. Pulling the wagon by themselves, Mother Courage and Kattrin hear an anonymous voice singing about the pleasure of having plenty.
The Catholics are besieging the Protestant town of Halle, and Mother Courage is away in the town, trading. Sleeping outside a peasant family's house, Kattrin is woken by their search party, who take one of the peasants with them as a guide. The peasant couple prays for the safety of those in the town, but Kattrin, unseen, gets a drum from the cart and climbs onto the roof. She beats the drum to try to awake the townspeople so that the siege can be anticipated. The soldiers return and shoot her, but before she dies, she is successful in awakening the town.
The next morning, Mother Courage sings a lullaby over her daughter's corpse, pays the peasants to bury her, and harnesses herself, alone, to the cart. The cart rolls back into action, but it is easier to pull now, since there is so little left in it to sell.

Mother Courage and her Children-Plot Overview

Mother Courage and her Children-Plot Overview
Mother Courage opens in Dalarna, spring 1624, in the midst of the Thirty Years War. A Sergeant and Recruiting Officer are seeking soldiers for the Swedish campaign in Poland. A canteen wagon appears, bearing the infamous Mother Courage, her dumb daughter, Kattrin, and her sons, Eilif and Swiss Cheese.
The Recruiting Officer attempts to seduce Eilif into the army. Courage demands that he leaves her children alone. The Sergeant protests and asks why, since Courage lives off the war, it should not ask something of her in return. When Eilif admits that he would like to sign up, Courage foretells the fate of her children: Eilif will die for his bravery, Swiss Cheese for his honesty, and Kattrin for her kindness. Courage readies to leave. The Recruiting Officer presses the Sergeant to stop them. While the Sergeant feigns to buy one of Courage's belts, the Recruiting Officer takes Eilif away.
In 1626, Courage appears beside the tent of the Swedish Commander, arguing with the Cook over the sale of a capon. The Commander, a Chaplain, and Eilif enter the tent, the Commander lauding his brave soldier for raiding the local peasants. Courage remarks that trouble must be afoot. If the campaign was any good, he would not need brave soldiers. Courage reunites with her son.
Three years later, Courage and Kattrin appear folding washing on a cannon with Swiss Cheese, now a paymaster, and Yvette Pottier, the camp prostitute, look on. Yvette recounts the story of her lost beau, Peter Piper.
The Chaplain and Cook appear and they talk about politics. The Cook remarks ironically that their king is lucky to have his campaign justified by God: otherwise, he could be accused of seeking profit alone. Suddenly cannons explode; the Catholics have launched a surprise attack. The Cook departs for the Commander. Swiss arrives and hides his regiment's cash box in the wagon.
Three days later, the remaining characters sit eating anxiously. When Courage and the Chaplain go to town, Swiss departs to return the cash box unaware that an enemies are lurking about to arrest him. When Courage and the Chaplain return, two men bring in Swiss. Mother and son pretend to not know each other.

That evening, Kattrin and the Chaplain appear rinsing glasses. An excited Courage enters, declaring that they can buy Swiss' freedom. Yvette has picked up an old Colonel who will buy the canteen; Courage only plans to pawn and reclaim it after two weeks with the money from the cash box. Thanking God for corruption, Courage sends Yvette to bribe One Eye with the 200 guilders.
Yvette reports that the enemy has agreed. Swiss, however, has thrown the cash box into the river. Courage hesitates, thinking that she will not be able to reclaim the wagon. Courage proposes a new offer, 120 guilders. Yvette returns, saying that they rejected it, and Swiss' execution is imminent. Drums roll in the distance. Two men enter with a stretcher, asking Courage if she can identify Swiss Cheese's body. Courage shakes her head, consigning the body to the carrion pit.
Courage then appears outside an officer's tent, planning to file a complaint over the destruction of her merchandise. A Young Soldier enters, threatening the captain's murder. Apparently he has stolen his reward for rescuing the Colonel's horse. Courage tells him to quiet down, since his rage will not last. Defeated, the soldier leaves, and Courage follows.
Two years pass, and the wagon stands in a war-ravaged village. The Chaplain staggers in; there is another wounded family of peasants in the farmhouse. He needs linen. Courage refuses, as she will not sacrifice her officers' shirts. The Chaplain lifts her off the wagon and takes the shirts.
The canteen sits before the funeral of Commander Tilly in 1632. Mother Courage and Kattrin take inventory inside the canteen tent. Courage asks the Chaplain if the war will end—she needs to know if she should buy more supplies. The Chaplain responds that war always finds a way. Courage resolves to buy new supplies, and sends Kattrin to town. Kattrin returns with a wound across her eye and forehead, as she was attacked en route. Counting the scattered merchandise, Courage curses the war. Immediately afterward she appears at the height of prosperity, dragging her new wares along a highway. She celebrates war as her breadwinner.
A year later, voices announce that peace has been declared. Suddenly the Cook arrives, bedraggled and penniless. Courage and Cook flirt as they recount their respective ruin. The Chaplain emerges, and the men begin to argue, fighting for the feedbag. When Courage defends the Cook, the Chaplain calls her a "hyena of the battlefield." Courage suggests they part company. Suddenly an older, fatter, and heavily powdered Yvette enters. The widow of a colonel, she has come to visit Courage. When she sees the Cook, she unmasks him as the Peter Piper that ruined her years ago. Courage calms her and takes her to town.
Both men are now convinced that they are lost. Eilif then enters in fetters. He faces execution for another of his raids and has come to see his mother for the last time. The soldiers take him away and cannons thunder. Courage appears, breathless. The war resumed three days ago and they must flee with the wagon. She invites the Cook to join her, hoping that she will see Eilif soon.
It is autumn of 1634. A hard winter has come early. Courage and the Cook appear in rags before a parsonage. Abruptly the Cook tells her that he has received a letter from Utrecht saying that his mother has died and left him the family inn. He invites her to join him there. However, they must leave Kattrin behind. Kattrin overhears their conversation.
Calling to the parsonage, the Cook then sings "The Song of the Great Souls of the Earth" for food. It recounts how the great souls meet their dark fates on account of their respective virtues—wisdom, bravery, honesty, and kindness. Courage decides she cannot leave her daughter. Kattrin climbs out of the wagon, planning to flee, but Courage stops her. They depart.
It is January 1636 and the wagon stands near a farmhouse outside Halle. Kattrin is inside; her mother has gone to town to buy supplies. Out of the woods come a Catholic Lieutenant and three soldiers, seeking a guide to the town. The Catholic regiment readies for a surprise attack. Convinced there is nothing they can do, the peasants begin to pray. Quietly Kattrin climbs on the roof and begins to beat a drum. The soldiers shoot Kattrin. Her final drumbeats mingle with the thunder of a cannon. She has saved the town.
Toward morning, Courage sits by Kattrin's body in front of the wagon. Courage sings Kattrin a lullaby. The peasants bring her to her senses and offer to bury her daughter. Courage pays them and harnesses herself to the wagon. "I must get back into business" she resolves and moves after the regiment.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

BBU- External Degree-GAQ-2011 Marks on Classroom Test

BBU/EXD/2011-2012/00332 Pass
BBU/EXD/2011-2012/00334 Pass (You must work hard)
BBU/EXD/2011-2012/00436 Pass (You must work hard)
BBU/EXD/2011-2012/00408 Pass
BBU/EXD/2011-2012/00421 Pass
BBU/EXD/2011-2012/00474 Pass
BBU/EXD/2011-2012/00435 Pass
BBU/EXD/2011-2012/00465 Pass
BBU/EXD/2011-2012/00450 Pass
BBU/EXD/2011-2012/00361 Pass
BBU/EXD/2011-2012/00345 Pass
BBU/EXD/2011-2012/00371 Pass
BBU/EXD/2011-2012/00462 Pass

Please improve your handwriting, grammar and spelling.You are also required to read a lot. Please don't get discouraged. Good Luck!

BBU- External Degree-GAQ-2011

Your marks on Classroom Test will be released very soon.
Please wait.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Rape of the Lock

Belinda arises to prepare for the day’s social activities after sleeping late. Her guardian sylph, Ariel, warned her in a dream that some disaster will befall her, and promises to protect her to the best of his abilities. Belinda takes little notice of this oracle, however. After an elaborate ritual of dressing and primping, she travels on the Thames River to Hampton Court Palace, an ancient royal residence outside of London, where a group of wealthy young socialites are gathering for a party. Among them is the Baron, who has already made up his mind to steal a lock of Belinda’s hair. He has risen early to perform and elaborate set of prayers and sacrifices to promote success in this enterprise. When the partygoers arrive at the palace, they enjoy a tense game of cards, which Pope describes in mock-heroic terms as a battle. This is followed by a round of coffee. Then the Baron takes up a pair of scissors and manages, on the third try, to cut off the coveted lock of Belinda’s hair. Belinda is furious. Umbriel, a mischievous gnome, journeys down to the Cave of Spleen to procure a sack of sighs and a flask of tears which he then bestows on the heroine to fan the flames of her ire. Clarissa, who had aided the Baron in his crime, now urges Belinda to give up her anger in favor of good humor and good sense, moral qualities which will outlast her vanities. But Clarissa’s moralizing falls on deaf ears, and Belinda initiates a scuffle between the ladies and the gentlemen, in which she attempts to recover the severed curl. The lock is lost in the confusion of this mock battle, however; the poet consoles the bereft Belinda with the suggestion that it has been taken up into the heavens and immortalized as a constellation.

Source: -19.09.2011

The Rape of the Lock Analysis: Themes and Form

The Rape of the Lock is a humorous indictment of the vanities and idleness of 18th-century high society. Basing his poem on a real incident among families of his acquaintance, Pope intended his verses to cool hot tempers and to encourage his friends to laugh at their own folly.
The poem is perhaps the most outstanding example in the English language of the genre of mock-epic. The epic had long been considered one of the most serious of literary forms; it had been applied, in the classical period, to the lofty subject matter of love and war, and, more recently, by Milton, to the intricacies of the Christian faith. The strategy of Pope’s mock-epic is not to mock the form itself, but to mock his society in its very failure to rise to epic standards, exposing its pettiness by casting it against the grandeur of the traditional epic subjects and the bravery and fortitude of epic heroes: Pope’s mock-heroic treatment in The Rape of the Lock underscores the ridiculousness of a society in which values have lost all proportion, and the trivial is handled with the gravity and solemnity that ought to be accorded to truly important issues. The society on display in this poem is one that fails to distinguish between things that matter and things that do not. The poem mocks the men it portrays by showing them as unworthy of a form that suited a more heroic culture. Thus the mock-epic resembles the epic in that its central concerns are serious and often moral, but the fact that the approach must now be satirical rather than earnest is symptomatic of how far the culture has fallen.
Pope’s use of the mock-epic genre is intricate and exhaustive. The Rape of the Lock is a poem in which every element of the contemporary scene conjures up some image from epic tradition or the classical world view, and the pieces are wrought together with a cleverness and expertise that makes the poem surprising and delightful. Pope’s transformations are numerous, striking, and loaded with moral implications. The great battles of epic become bouts of gambling and flirtatious tiffs. The great, if capricious, Greek and Roman gods are converted into a relatively undifferentiated army of basically ineffectual sprites. Cosmetics, clothing, and jewelry substitute for armor and weapons, and the rituals of religious sacrifice are transplanted to the dressing room and the altar of love.
The verse form of The Rape of the Lock is the heroic couplet; Pope still reigns as the uncontested master of the form. The heroic couplet consists of rhymed pairs of iambic pentameter lines (lines of ten syllables each, alternating stressed and unstressed syllables). Pope’s couplets do not fall into strict iambs, however, flowering instead with a rich rhythmic variation that keeps the highly regular meter from becoming heavy or tedious. Pope distributes his sentences, with their resolutely parallel grammar, across the lines and half-lines of the poem in a way that enhances the judicious quality of his ideas. Moreover, the inherent balance of the couplet form is strikingly well suited to a subject matter that draws on comparisons and contrasts: the form invites configurations in which two ideas or circumstances are balanced, measured, or compared against one another. It is thus perfect for the evaluative, moralizing premise of the poem, particularly in the hands of this brilliant poet.

Source: -19.09.2011

Monday, September 12, 2011


Definition Pragmatics
A branch of linguistics concerned with the use of language in social contexts and the ways in which people produce and comprehend meanings through language.

Pragmatics is a subfield of linguistics which studies the ways in which context contributes to meaning. Pragmatics encompasses speech act theory, conversational implicature, talk in interaction and other approaches to language behavior in philosophy, sociology, and linguistics.[1] It studies how the transmission of meaning depends not only on the linguistic knowledge (e.g. grammar, lexicon etc.) of the speaker and listener, but also on the context of the utterance, knowledge about the status of those involved, the inferred intent of the speaker, and so on.[2] In this respect, pragmatics explains how language users are able to overcome apparent ambiguity, since meaning relies on the manner, place, time etc. of an utterance.[1] The ability to understand another speaker's intended meaning is called pragmatic competence. So an utterance describing pragmatic function is described as metapragmatic. Pragmatic awareness is regarded as one of the most challenging aspects of language learning, and comes only through experience
Structural ambiguity
The sentence "You have a green light" is ambiguous. Without knowing the context, the identity of the speaker, and their intent, it is not possible to infer the meaning with confidence. For example:
• It could mean you have green ambient lighting.
• Or that you have a green light to drive your car.
• Or it could be indicating that you can go ahead with the project.
• Or that your body has a green glow.
Similarly, the sentence "Sherlock saw the man with binoculars" could mean that Sherlock observed the man by using binoculars; or it could mean that Sherlock observed a man who was holding binoculars.[3] The meaning of the sentence depends on an understanding of the context and the speaker's intent. As defined in linguistics, a sentence is an abstract entity — a string of words divorced from non-linguistic context — as opposed to an utterance, which is a concrete example of a speech act in a specific context. The closer conscious subjects stick to common words, idioms, phrasings, and topics, the more easily others can surmise their meaning; the further they stray from common expressions and topics, the wider the variations in interpretations. This suggests that sentences do not have meaning intrinsically; there is not a meaning associated with a sentence or word, they can only symbolically represent an idea. The cat sat on the mat is a sentence of English; if you say to your sister on Tuesday afternoon: "The cat sat on the mat", this is an example of an utterance. Thus, there is no such thing as a sentence, term, expression or word symbolically representing a single true meaning; it is underspecified (which cat sat on which mat?) and potentially ambiguous. The meaning of an utterance, on the other hand, is inferred based on linguistic knowledge and knowledge of the non-linguistic context of the utterance (which may or may not be sufficient to resolve ambiguity). In mathematics with Berry's paradox there arose a systematic ambiguity with the word "definable". The ambiguity with words shows that the descriptive power of any human language is limited.
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Pragmatics was a reaction to structuralist linguistics as outlined by Ferdinand de Saussure. In many cases, it expanded upon his idea that language has an analyzable structure, composed of parts that can be defined in relation to others. Pragmatics first engaged only in synchronic study, as opposed to examining the historical development of language. However, it rejected the notion that all meaning comes from signs existing purely in the abstract space of langue. Meanwhile, historical pragmatics has also come into being.
Areas of interest
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• The study of the speaker's meaning, not focusing on the phonetic or grammatical form of an utterance, but instead on what the speaker's intentions and beliefs are.
• The study of the meaning in context, and the influence that a given context can have on the message. It requires knowledge of the speaker's identities, and the place and time of the utterance.
• The study of implicatures, i.e. the things that are communicated even though they are not explicitly expressed.
• The study of relative distance, both social and physical, between speakers in order to understand what determines the choice of what is said and what is not said.
• The study of what is not meant, as opposed to the intended meaning, i.e. that which is unsaid and unintended, or unintentional.
• Information Structure, the study of how utterances are marked in order to efficiently manage the common ground of referred entities between speaker and hearer
• Formal Pragmatics, the study of those aspects of meaning and use, for which context of use is an important factor, by using the methods and goals of formal semantics.
Referential uses of language
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When we speak of the referential uses of language we are talking about how we use signs to refer to certain items. Below is an explanation of, first, what a sign is, second, how meanings are accomplished through its usage.

A sign is the link or relationship between a signified and the signifier as defined by Saussure and Huguenin. The signified is some entity or concept in the world. The signifier represents the signified. An example would be:
Signified: the concept cat
Signifier: the word "cat"
The relationship between the two gives the sign meaning. This relationship can be further explained by considering what we mean by "meaning." In pragmatics, there are two different types of meaning to consider: semantico-referential meaning and indexical meaning. Semantico-referential meaning refers to the aspect of meaning, which describes events in the world that are independent of the circumstance they are uttered in. An example would be propositions such as:

"Santa Claus eats cookies."
In this case, the proposition is describing that Santa Claus eats cookies. The meaning of this proposition does not rely on whether or not Santa Claus is eating cookies at the time of its utterance. Santa Claus could be eating cookies at any time and the meaning of the proposition would remain the same. The meaning is simply describing something that is the case in the world. In contrast, the proposition, "Santa Claus is eating a cookie right now," describes events that are happening at the time the proposition is uttered.
Semantico-referential meaning is also present in meta-semantical statements such as:

Tiger: omnivorous, a mammal

If someone were to say that a tiger is an omnivorous animal in one context and a mammal in another, the definition of tiger would still be the same. The meaning of the sign tiger is describing some animal in the world, which does not change in either circumstance.
Indexical meaning, on the other hand, is dependent on the context of the utterance and has rules of use. By rules of use, it is meant that indexicals can tell you when they are used, but not what they actually mean.

Example: "I"
Whom "I" refers to depends on the context and the person uttering it.
As mentioned, these meanings are brought about through the relationship between the signified and the signifier. One way to define the relationship is by placing signs in two categories: referential indexical signs, also called "shifters," and pure indexical signs.

Referential indexical signs are signs where the meaning shifts depending on the context hence the nickname "shifters." 'I' would be considered a referential indexical sign. The referential aspect of its meaning would be '1st person singular' while the indexical aspect would be the person who is speaking (refer above for definitions of semantico-referential and indexical meaning). Another example would be:
Referential: singular count
Indexical: Close by
A pure indexical sign does not contribute to the meaning of the propositions at all. It is an example of a ""non-referential use of language.""

A second way to define the signified and signifier relationship is C.S. Peirce's Peircean Trichotomy. The components of the trichotomy are the following:
1. Icon: the signified resembles the signifier (signified: a dog's barking noise, signifier: bow-wow)
2. Index: the signified and signifier are linked by proximity or the signifier has meaning only because it is pointing to the signified
3. Symbol: the signified and signifier are arbitrarily linked (signified: a cat, signifier: the word cat)

These relationships allow us to use signs to convey what we want to say. If two people were in a room and one of them wanted to refer to a characteristic of a chair in the room he would say "this chair has four legs" instead of "a chair has four legs." The former relies on context (indexical and referential meaning) by referring to a chair specifically in the room at that moment while the latter is independent of the context (semantico-referential meaning), meaning the concept chair.
Non-referential uses of language
Silverstein's "pure" indexes
Michael Silverstein has argued that "nonreferential" or "pure" indices do not contribute to an utterance's referential meaning but instead "signal some particular value of one or more contextual variables."[4] Although nonreferential indexes are devoid of semantico-referential meaning, they do encode "pragmatic" meaning.
The sorts of contexts that such indexes can mark are varied. Examples include:
• Sex indexes are affixes or inflections that index the sex of the speaker, e.g. the verb forms of female Koasati speakers take the suffix "-s".
• Deference indexes are words that signal social differences (usually related to status or age) between the speaker and the addressee. The most common example of a deference index is the V form in a language with a T-V distinction, the widespread phenomenon in which there are multiple second-person pronouns that correspond to the addressee's relative status or familiarity to the speaker. Honorifics are another common form of deference index and demonstrate the speaker's respect or esteem for the addressee via special forms of address and/or self-humbling first-person pronouns.
• An Affinal taboo index is an example of avoidance speech and produces and reinforces sociological distance, as seen in the Aboriginal Dyirbal language of Australia. In this language and some others, there is a social taboo against the use of the everyday lexicon in the presence of certain relatives (mother-in-law, child-in-law, paternal aunt's child, and maternal uncle's child). If any of those relatives are present, a Dyirbal speaker has to switch to a completely separate lexicon reserved for that purpose.
In all of these cases, the semantico-referential meaning of the utterances is unchanged from that of the other possible (but often impermissible) forms, but the pragmatic meaning is vastly different.
The performative
Main articles: Performative utterance, Speech act theory
J.L. Austin introduced the concept of the performative, contrasted in his writing with "constative" (i.e. descriptive) utterances. According to Austin's original formulation, a performative is a type of utterance characterized by two distinctive features:
• It is not truth-evaluable (i.e. it is neither true nor false)
• Its uttering performs an action rather than simply describing one
However, a performative utterance must also conform to a set of felicity conditions.
• "I hereby pronounce you man and wife."
• "I accept your apology."
• "This meeting is now adjourned."
Jakobson's six functions of language
Main article: Jakobson's functions of language

The six factors of an effective verbal communication. To each one corresponds a communication function (not displayed in this picture).[5]
Roman Jakobson, expanding on the work of Karl Bühler, described six "constitutive factors" of a speech event, each of which represents the privileging of a corresponding function, and only one of which is the referential (which corresponds to the context of the speech event). The six constitutive factors and their corresponding functions are diagrammed below.
The six constitutive factors of a speech event

The six functions of language
• The Referential Function corresponds to the factor of Context and describes a situation, object or mental state. The descriptive statements of the referential function can consist of both definite descriptions and deictic words, e.g. "The autumn leaves have all fallen now."
• The Expressive (alternatively called "emotive" or "affective") Function relates to the Addresser and is best exemplified by interjections and other sound changes that do not alter the denotative meaning of an utterance but do add information about the Addresser's (speaker's) internal state, e.g. "Wow, what a view!"
• The Conative Function engages the Addressee directly and is best illustrated by vocatives and imperatives, e.g. "Tom! Come inside and eat!"
• The Poetic Function focuses on "the message for its own sake"[6] and is the operative function in poetry as well as slogans.
• The Phatic Function is language for the sake of interaction and is therefore associated with the Contact factor. The Phatic Function can be observed in greetings and casual discussions of the weather, particularly with strangers.
• The Metalingual (alternatively called "metalinguistic" or "reflexive") Function is the use of language (what Jakobson calls "Code") to discuss or describe itself.
Related fields
There is considerable overlap between pragmatics and sociolinguistics, since both share an interest in linguistic meaning as determined by usage in a speech community. However, sociolinguists tend to be more interested in variations in language within such communities.
Pragmatics helps anthropologists relate elements of language to broader social phenomena; it thus pervades the field of linguistic anthropology. Because pragmatics describes generally the forces in play for a given utterance, it includes the study of power, gender, race, identity, and their interactions with individual speech acts. For example, the study of code switching directly relates to pragmatics, since a switch in code effects a shift in pragmatic force.[6]
According to Charles W. Morris, pragmatics tries to understand the relationship between signs and their users, while semantics tends to focus on the actual objects or ideas to which a word refers, and syntax (or "syntactics") examines relationships among signs or symbols. Semantics is the literal meaning of an idea whereas pragmatics is the implied meaning of the given idea.
Speech Act Theory, pioneered by J.L. Austin and further developed by John Searle, centers around the idea of the performative, a type of utterance that performs the very action it describes. Speech Act Theory's examination of Illocutionary Acts has many of the same goals as pragmatics, as outlined above.
Pragmatics in philosophy
Pragmatics (more specifically, Speech Act Theory's notion of the performative) underpins Judith Butler's theory of gender performativity. In Gender Trouble, she claims that gender and sex are not natural categories, but socially constructed roles produced by "reiterative acting."
In Excitable Speech she extends her theory of performativity to hate speech and censorship, arguing that censorship necessarily strengthens any discourse it tries to suppress and therefore, since the state has sole power to define hate speech legally, it is the state that makes hate speech performative.
Jaques Derrida remarked that some work done under Pragmatics aligned well with the program he outlined in his book Of Grammatology.
Émile Benveniste argued that the pronouns "I" and "you" are fundamentally distinct from other pronouns because of their role in creating the subject.
Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari discuss linguistic pragmatics in the fourth chapter of A Thousand Plateaus ("November 20, 1923--Postulates of Linguistics"). They draw three conclusions from Austin: (1) A performative utterance does not communicate information about an act second-hand—it is the act; (2) Every aspect of language ("semantics, syntactics, or even phonematics") functionally interacts with pragmatics; (3) There is no distinction between language and speech. This last conclusion attempts to refute Saussure's division between langue and parole and Chomsky's distinction between surface structure and deep structure simultaneously. [7]
Significant works
• J. L. Austin's How To Do Things With Words
• Paul Grice's cooperative principle and conversational maxims
• Brown & Levinson's Politeness Theory
• Geoffrey Leech's politeness maxims
• Levinson's Presumptive Meanings
• Jürgen Habermas's universal pragmatics
• Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson's relevance theory
1. ^ a b Mey, Jacob L. (1993) Pragmatics: An Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell (2nd ed. 2001).
2. ^ Shaozhong, Liu. "What is pragmatics?". Retrieved 18 March 2009.
3. ^
4. ^ Silverstein 1976
5. ^ Middleton, Richard (1990/2002). Studying Popular Music, p. 241. Philadelphia: Open University Press. ISBN 0335152759.
6. ^ a b Duranti 1997
7. ^ Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari (1987) [1980]. A Thousand Plateaus. University of Minnesota Press.
• Austin, J. L. (1962) How to Do Things With Words. Oxford University Press.
• Brown, Penelope, and Stephen C. Levinson. (1978) Politeness: Some Universals in Language Usage. Cambridge University Press.
• Carston, Robyn (2002) Thoughts and Utterances: The Pragmatics of Explicit Communication. Oxford: Blackwell.
• Clark, Herbert H. (1996) "Using Language". Cambridge University Press.
• Cole, Peter, ed.. (1978) Pragmatics. (Syntax and Semantics, 9). New York: Academic Press.
• Dijk, Teun A. van. (1977) Text and Context. Explorations in the Semantics and Pragmatics of Discourse. London: Longman.
• Grice, H. Paul. (1989) Studies in the Way of Words. Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press.
• Laurence R. Horn and Gregory Ward. (2005) The Handbook of Pragmatics. Blackwell.
• Leech, Geoffrey N. (1983) Principles of Pragmatics. London: Longman.
• Levinson, Stephen C. (1983) Pragmatics. Cambridge University Press.
• Levinson, Stephen C. (2000). Presumptive meanings: The theory of generalized conversational implicature. MIT Press.
• Lin, G. H. C. (2007). The significant of pragmatics. Mingdao Journal, Vol, 3, 91-102 ERIC Collection as ED503682
• Mey, Jacob L. (1993) Pragmatics: An Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell (2nd ed. 2001).
• Kepa Korta and John Perry. (2006) Pragmatics. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
• Potts, Christopher. (2005) The Logic of Conventional Implicatures. Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
• Sperber, Dan and Wilson, Deirdre. (2005) Pragmatics. In F. Jackson and M. Smith (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy. OUP, Oxford, 468-501. (Also available here.)
• Thomas, Jenny (1995) Meaning in Interaction: An Introduction to Pragmatics. Longman.
• Verschueren, Jef. (1999) Understanding Pragmatics. London, New York: Arnold Publishers.
• Verschueren, Jef, Jan-Ola Östman, Jan Blommaert, eds. (1995) Handbook of Pragmatics. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
• Watzlawick, Paul, Janet Helmick Beavin and Don D. Jackson (1967) Pragmatics of Human Communication: A Study of Interactional Patterns, Pathologies, and Paradoxes. New York: Norton.
• Wierzbicka, Anna (1991) Cross-cultural Pragmatics. The Semantics of Human Interaction. Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
• Yule, George (1996) Pragmatics (Oxford Introductions to Language Study). Oxford University Press.
• Silverstein, Michael. 1976. "Shifters, Linguistic Categories, and Cultural Description," in Meaning and Anthropology, Basso and Selby, eds. New York: Harper & Row
• Wardhaugh, Ronald. (2006). "An Introduction to Sociolinguistics". Blackwell.
• Duranti, Alessandro. (1997). "Linguistic Anthropology". Cambridge University Press.
• Carbaugh, Donal. (1990). "Cultural Communication and Intercultural Contact." LEA.
• Mira Ariel (2010). Defining Pragmatics. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521732031.
External links
• Journal of Pragmatics, An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language Studies
• Liu, Shaozhong, "What is Pragmatics?", Eprint
• Dan Sperber discusses Pragmatics from Philosophy Talk Radio Program
• wiki project in comparative pragmatics: European Communicative Strategies (ECSTRA) (directed by Joachim Grzega)

Retrieved from ""


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Lament

It goes without saying that the human condition - this collective experience, if you will - has long been the subject of deliberation by poets and pundits alike. It is this universal theme which has unified the minds of innumerable artists in a common pursuit, only to spawn equally as many unique perspectives, each obscured in their own singularity; and it is this of which countless volumes have been recorded. It is not wholly remarkable, then, that Russian writer and physician Anton Chekhov's The Lamentendeavors to relate to us exactly that. Rather, what is truly surprising is the extent to which Chekhov succeeds in his depiction.
The Lament tells the story of Iona Potapov, a poor Russian cabdriver who is inundated with grief at the loss of his only son. The archetypal Potapov appears as silent, pale, and still as the heavy snow that wraps itself around his hunched shoulders and back. Numb from his overwhelming sadness, Iona perches on his carriage in deep thought, doubled over himself and rigid, waiting for a fare to temporarily deliver him from the agony of his solitude. The prison of his own mind is unbearable for Iona, his thoughts tormenting him with every moment of silence, and he welcomes the transient company of his fares, hoping for a friendly soul with whom to share his immeasurable grief, to properly recount his, Iona Potapov's, tragic tale in its entirety. The company momentarily relieves his anguish, but as the night progresses and fares come and go, Iona realizes that there is no one willing to share his burden. Iona's desperation eventually becomes too much for him, and he turns to his faithful horse, to whom he can finally, properly recount the grotesque reality of an ailing old man outliving his young, healthy son.
Chekhov's character is at first glance a pitiful wretch, a shell of a man who has lost his touch with reality; yet the reader feels a sense of sorrow, of empathy for an aging man who, having lost his most beloved treasure, is wracked with grief as he struggles to reach out to his fellow man. It is this struggle that exemplifies the human condition. As Iona turns, so turns Humanity to seek solace in his fellow, to seek validation through shared sorrow, and to seek reprieve from his fear. Ultimately he must carry on, for grief, he will learn, can never be shared.


A Passage to India

A Passage to India (1924) is a novel by E. M. Forster set against the backdrop of the British Raj and the Indian independence movement in the 1920s. It was selected as one of the 100 great works of English literature by the Modern Library and won the 1924 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction.Time magazine included the novel in its "TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005".[1] The novel is based on Forster's experiences in India.
The story revolves around four characters: Dr. Aziz, his British friend Mr. Cyril Fielding, Mrs. Moore, and Ms. Adela Quested. During a trip to the Marabar Caves (modeled on the Barabar Caves of Bihar),[2]Adela accuses Aziz of attempting to assault her. Aziz's trial, and its run-up and aftermath, bring out all the racial tensions and prejudices between indigenous Indians and the British colonists who rule India.
Plot summary
A young British schoolmistress, Adela Quested, and her elderly friend, Mrs. Moore, visit the fictional city of Chandrapore, British India. Adela is to marry Mrs. Moore's son, Ronny Heaslop, the city magistrate.
Meanwhile, Dr. Aziz, a young Muslim Indian physician, is dining with two of his Indian friends and conversing about whether it is possible to be friends with an Englishman. During the meal, a summons arrives from Major Callendar, Aziz's unpleasant superior at the hospital. Aziz hastens to Callendar's bungalow as ordered, but is delayed by a flat tyre and difficulty in finding a tonga and the major has already left in a huff.
Disconsolate, Aziz walks down the road toward the railway station. When he sees his favourite mosque, a rather ramshackle but beautiful structure, he enters on impulse. He sees a strange Englishwoman there, and angrily yells at her not to profane this sacred place. The woman, however, turns out to be Mrs Moore. Her respect for native customs (she took off her shoes on entering and she acknowledged that "God is here" in the mosque) disarms Aziz, and the two chat and part friends.
Mrs. Moore returns to the British club down the road and relates her experience at the mosque. Ronny Heaslop, her son, initially thinks she is talking about an Englishman, and becomes indignant when he learns the truth. He thinks she should have indicated by her tone that it was a "Mohammedan" who was in question. Adela, however, is intrigued.
Because the newcomers had expressed a desire to see Indians, Mr. Turton, the city tax collector, invites numerous Indian gentlemen to a party at his house. The party turns out to be an awkward business, thanks to the Indians' timidity and the Britons' bigotry, but Adela does meet Cyril Fielding, headmaster of Chandrapore's little government-run college for Indians. Fielding invites Adela and Mrs. Moore to a tea party with him and a Hindu-Brahmin professor named Narayan Godbole. On Adela's request, he extends his invitation to Dr. Aziz.
At Fielding's tea party, everyone has a good time conversing about India, and Fielding and Aziz even become great friends. Aziz buoyantly promises to take Mrs. Moore and Adela to see the Marabar Caves, a distant cave complex that everyone talks about but no one seems to actually visit. Aziz's Marabar invitation was one of those casual promises that people often make and never intend to keep. Ronny Heaslop arrives and rudely breaks up the party.
Aziz mistakenly believes that the women are really offended that he has not followed through with his promise and arranges the outing at great expense to himself. Fielding and Godbole were supposed to accompany the little expedition, but they miss the train.
Aziz and the women begin to explore the caves. In the first cave, however, Mrs. Moore is overcome with claustrophobia, for the cave is dark and Aziz's retinue has followed her in. The press of people nearly smothers her. But worse than the claustrophobia is the echo. No matter what sound one makes, the echo is always "Boum." Disturbed by the echo, Mrs. Moore declines to continue exploring. So Adela and Aziz, accompanied by a single guide, a local man, climb on up the hill to the next cluster of caves.
As Aziz helps Adela up the hill, she innocently asks him whether he has more than one wife. Disconcerted by the bluntness of the remark, he ducks into a cave to compose himself. When he comes out, he finds the guide sitting alone outside the caves. The guide says Adela has gone into one of the caves by herself. Aziz looks for her in vain. Deciding she is lost, he angrily punches the guide, who runs away. Aziz looks around again and discovers Adela's field-glasses (binoculars) lying broken on the ground. He puts them in his pocket.
Then Aziz looks down the hill and sees Adela speaking to another young Englishwoman, Miss Derek, who has arrived with Fielding in a car. Aziz runs down the hill and greets Fielding effusively, but Miss Derek and Adela have already driven off without a word of explanation. Fielding, Mrs. Moore, and Aziz return to Chandrapore on the train.
Then the blow falls. At the train station, Dr. Aziz is arrested and charged with sexually assaulting Adela in a cave. She reports the alleged incident to the British authorities.
The run-up to Aziz's trial for attempted sexual assault releases the racial tensions between the British and the Indians. Adela accuses Aziz only of trying to touch her. She says that he followed her into the cave and tried to grab her, and that she fended him off by swinging her field glasses at him. She remembers him grabbing the glasses and the strap breaking, which allowed her to get away. The only actual evidence the British have is the field glasses in the possession of Dr. Aziz. Despite this, the British colonists firmly believe that Aziz is guilty; at the back of all their minds is the conviction that all darker peoples lust after white women. They are stunned when Fielding proclaims his belief in Aziz's innocence. Fielding is ostracized and condemned as a blood-traitor. But the Indians, who consider the assault allegation a fraud aimed at ruining their community's reputation, welcome him.
During the weeks before the trial, Mrs. Moore is unexpectedly apathetic and irritable. Her experience in the cave seems to have ruined her faith in humanity. Although she curtly professes her belief in Aziz's innocence, she does nothing to help him. Ronny, alarmed by his mother's assertion that Aziz is innocent, decides to arrange for her return by ship to England before she can testify to this effect at the trial. Mrs. Moore dies during the voyage. Her absence from India becomes a major issue at the trial, where Aziz's legal defenders assert that her testimony alone, had it been available, would have proven the accused's innocence.
After an initial period of fever and weeping, Adela becomes confused as to Aziz's guilt. At the trial, she is asked point-blank whether Aziz sexually assaulted her. She asks for a moment to think before replying. She has a vision of the cave in that moment, and it turns out that Adela had, while in the cave, received a shock similar to Mrs. Moore's. The echo had disconcerted her so much that she temporarily became unhinged. She ran around the cave, fled down the hill, and finally sped off with Miss Derek. At the time, Adela mistakenly interpreted her shock as an assault by Aziz, who personifies the India that has stripped her of her psychological innocence, but he was never there. She admits that she was mistaken. The case is dismissed. (Note that in the 1913 draft of the novel EM Forster originally had Aziz guilty of the assault and found guilty in the court, but later changed this in the 1924 draft to create a more ambiguous ending).
All the Anglo-Indians are shocked and infuriated by what they view as Adela's betrayal of the white race. Ronny Heaslop breaks off their engagement. Adela stays at Fielding's house until her passage on a boat to England is arranged. After explaining to Fielding that the echo was the cause of the whole business, she departs India, never to return.
Although he is free and vindicated, Aziz is angry and bitter that his friend, Fielding, would befriend Adela after she nearly ruined his life. The two men's friendship suffers in consequence, and Fielding soon departs for England. Aziz believes that he is leaving to marry Adela for her money. Bitter at his friend's perceived betrayal, he vows never again to befriend a white person. Aziz moves to the Hindu-ruled state of Mau and begins a new life.
Two years later, Fielding returns to India and to Aziz. His wife is Stella, Mrs. Moore's daughter from a second marriage. Aziz, now the Raja's chief physician, at first persists in his anger against his old friend. But in time, he comes to respect and love Fielding again. However, he does not give up his dream of a free and united India. In the novel's last sentences, he explains that he and Fielding cannot be friends, at least not until India is free of the British Raj. Even the earth and the sky seem to say, "Not yet."
Character list
Dr. Aziz
A young Muslim Indian Physician who works at the British hospital in Chandrapore. He relies heavily on intuition over logic, and he is more emotional than his best friend, Fielding. He makes friends easily and seems quite garrulous at times. His chief drawback is an inability to view a situation without emotion, which Forster suggests is a typical Indian difficulty. Despite being the protagonist of the novel Aziz does have some vulgar notion about women's physicality. Aziz seem to possess a profound love for his late wife but forgets her due to his overshadowing impulsiveness.
Cyril Fielding
The 45-year-old, unmarried British headmaster of the small government-run college for Indians. Fielding's logical Western mind cannot comprehend the muddle (or mystery) of India, but he is highly tolerant and respectful toward Indians. He befriends Dr. Aziz, but cultural and racial differences, and personal misunderstandings, separate them.
Adela Quested
A young British schoolmistress who is visiting India with the vague intention of marrying Ronny Heaslop. Intelligent, brave, honest, but slightly prudish, she is what Fielding calls a "prig." She arrives with the intention of seeing the real India. But after a frightening trip to the Marabar Caves, she falsely accuses Aziz of sexually assaulting her.
Mrs. Moore
The elderly, thoughtful mother of Ronny Heaslop. She is visiting Chandrapore to oversee her son's engagement to Adela Quested. She respects Indians and their customs, and the Indians in the novel appreciate her more than they do any other Briton. After undergoing an experience similar to Adela's, she becomes apathetic and bitter.
Ronny Heaslop
The British city magistrate of Chandrapore. Though not a bad man, he shares his Anglo-Indian colleagues' racist view of Indians. He breaks off his engagement to Adela after she retracts her accusation against Aziz. He considers it a betrayal of their race.
Professor Narayan Godbole
An elderly, courteous, contemplative Brahmin who views the world with equanimity. He remains totally aloof from the novel's conflicts.
Mr. Turton
The British city collector of Chandrapore. He does not hate Indians, for that would be to negate his life's work. Nevertheless, he is fiercely loyal to his race, reviles less bigoted people like Fielding, and regards natives with thinly veiled contempt.
Mrs. Turton
Mr. Turton's wife. Openly racist, snobbish, and rude toward Indians and those Anglo-Indians who are different, she screams at Adela in the courtroom when the latter retracts her accusation against Aziz.
Maj. Callendar
The British head doctor and Aziz's superior at the hospital. He is more openly racist than any other male character. Rumors circulate among Indians that Callendar actually tortured an injured Indian by putting pepper instead of antiseptic on his wounds.
Mr. McBryde
The British superintendent of police in Chandrapore. Like Mr. Turton, he considers dark-skinned races inferior to light-skinned ones. During Aziz's trial, he publicly asserts that it is a scientific fact that dark men lust after white women. Nevertheless, he is more tolerant of Indians than most Britons, and he is friendly with Fielding.
Miss Derek
An Englishwoman employed by a Hindu royal family. She frequently borrows their car—and does not trouble to ask their permission or return it in time. She is too boisterous and easygoing for most of her compatriots' tastes. She has an affair with McBryde.
Nawab Bahadur
The chief Indian gentleman in Chandrapore, a Muslim. Wealthy (he owns a car) and generous, he is loyal to the British (he lends his car to Ronny Heaslop). But after the trial, he gives up his title of "nawab," which the British bestowed on him, in favor of plain "Mr. Zulfiqar."
Aziz's uncle and friend. Educated in law at Cambridge University, he declares at the beginning of the novel that it is easier to be friends with an Englishman in England than in India. Aziz comes to agree with him.
A prominent Indian lawyer from Calcutta, called in to defend Aziz. He is known for his strong anti-British sentiment. He takes the case for political reasons and becomes disgusted when the case evaporates in court.
Mahmoud Ali
A Muslim Indian barrister who openly hates the British.
Dr. Panna Lal
A low-born Hindu doctor and Aziz's rival at the hospital.
Ralph Moore
A timid, sensitive and discerning youth, the second son of Mrs. Moore.
Stella Moore
Mrs. Moore's daughter and Fielding's beautiful younger wife.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Paralanguage- Communication Skills

Paralanguage refers to the non-verbal elements of communication used to modify meaning and convey emotion. Paralanguage may be expressed consciously or unconsciously, and it includes the pitch, volume, and, in some cases, intonation of speech. Sometimes the definition is restricted to vocally-produced sounds. The study of paralanguage is known as paralinguistics.
The term 'paralanguage' is sometimes used as a cover term for body language, which is not necessarily tied to speech, and paralinguistic phenomena in speech. The latter are phenomena that can be observed in speech (Saussure's parole) but that do not belong to the arbitrary conventional code of language (Saussure's langue).
The paralinguistic properties of speech play an important role in human speech communication. There are no utterances or speech signals that lack paralinguistic properties, since speech requires the presence of a voice that can be modulated. This voice must have some properties, and all the properties of a voice as such are paralinguistic. However, the distinction linguistic vs. paralinguistic applies not only to speech but to writing and sign language as well, and it is not bound to any sensory modality. Even vocal language has some paralinguistic as well as linguistic properties that can be seen (lip reading, McGurk effect), and even felt, e.g. by the Tadoma method.
One can distinguish the following aspects of speech signals and perceived utterances:
Perspective aspects
Speech signals that arrive at a listener’s ears have acoustic properties that may allow listeners to localize the speaker (distance, direction). Sound localization functions in a similar way also for non-speech sounds. The perspective aspects of lip reading are more obvious and have more drastic effects when head turning is involved.
Organic aspects
The speech organs of different speakers differ in size. As children grow up, their organs of speech become larger and there are differences between male and female adults. The differences concern not only size, but also proportions. They affect the pitch of the voice and to a substantial extent also the formant frequencies, which characterize the different speech. The organic quality of speech has a communicative function in a restricted sense, since it is merely informative about the speaker. It will be expressed independently of the speaker’s intention.

Expressive aspects
The properties of the voice and the way of speaking are affected by emotions and attitudes. Typically, attitudes are expressed intentionally and emotions without intention, but attempts to fake or to hide emotions are not unusual. Expressive variation is central to paralanguage. It affects loudness, speaking rate, pitch, pitch range and, to some extent, also the formant frequencies.
Linguistic aspects
These aspects are the main concern of linguists. Ordinary phonetic transcriptions of utterances reflect only the linguistically informative quality. The problem of how listeners factor out the linguistically informative quality from speech signals is a topic of current research.
Some of the linguistic features of speech, in particular of its prosody, are paralinguistic or pre-linguistic in origin. A most fundamental and widespread phenomenon of this kind is known as the "frequency code" (Ohala, 1984). This code works even in communication across species. It has its origin in the fact that the acoustic frequencies in the voice of small vocalizers are high while they are low in the voice of large vocalizers. This gives rise to secondary meanings such as 'harmless', 'submissive', 'unassertive', which are naturally associated with smallness, while meanings such as 'dangerous', 'dominant', and 'assertive' are associated with largeness. In most languages, the frequency code also serves the purpose of distinguishing questions from statements. It is universally reflected in expressive variation, and it is reasonable to assume that it has phylogenetically given rise to the sexual dimorphism that lies behind the large difference in pitch between average female and male adults.
In text-only communication such as email, chat rooms and instant messaging, paralinguistic elements can be displayed by emoticons, font and color choices, capitalization and the use of non-alphabetic or abstract characters. Nonetheless, paralanguage in written communication is limited in comparison with face-to-face conversation, sometimes leading to misunderstandings.

Source: -05.09.2011

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Top 10 interview questions...and how you should answer them-Business Communication

Top 10 interview questions...and how you should answer them
As the saying goes, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail". So here is a valuable insight into the world of interview questions and the techniques best used to answer them.
There are some questions that are asked frequently in interviews and you should prepare your answers beforehand. The key things to remember when responding to interview questions are to keep your answers relevant, brief and to the point. If you are faced with a difficult question, make sure you stay calm, don't get defensive, and take a moment to think about your response before you answer.
Remember, these responses are only suggestions. Try to personalize your response as much as possible.
Question: Tell me about yourself.
Answer: Identify some of your main attributes and memorize them. Describe your qualifications, career history and range of skills, emphasizing those skills relevant to the job on offer.
Q: What have your achievements been to date?
A: Select an achievement that is work-related and fairly recent. Identify the skills you used in the achievement and quantify the benefit it had to the company. For example, 'my greatest achievement has been to design and implement a new sales ledger system, bringing it in ahead of time and improving our debtors' position significantly, saving the company $50,000 per month in interest'.
Q: Are you happy with your career to date?
A: This question is really about your self-esteem, confidence and career aspirations. The answer must be 'yes', followed by a brief explanation as to what it is about your career so far that's made you happy. If you have hit a career plateau, or you feel you are moving too slowly, then you must qualify your answer.
Q: What is the most difficult situation you have had to face and how did you tackle it?
A: The purpose of this question is to find out what your definition of difficult is and whether you can show a logical approach to problem solving. In order to show yourself in a positive light, select a difficult work situation which was not caused by you and which can be quickly explained in a few sentences. Explain how you defined the problem, what the options were, why you selected the one you did and what the outcome was. Always end on a positive note.
Q: What do you like about your present job?
A: This is a straightforward question. All you have to do is make sure that your 'likes' correspond to the skills etc. required in the job on offer. Be enthusiastic; describe your job as interesting and diverse but do not overdo it - after all, you are looking to leave.
Q: What do you dislike about your present job?
A: Be cautious with this answer. Do not be too specific as you may draw attention to weaknesses that will leave you open to further problems. One approach is to choose a characteristic of your present company, such as its size or slow decision-making processes etc. Give your answer with the air of someone who takes problems and frustrations in your stride as part of the job.
Q: What are your strengths?
A: This is one question that you know you are going to get so there is no excuse for being unprepared. Concentrate on discussing your main strengths. List three or four proficiencies e.g. your ability to learn quickly, determination to succeed, positive attitude, your ability to relate to people and achieve a common goal. You may be asked to give examples of the above so be prepared.
Q: What is your greatest weakness?
A: Do not say you have none - this will lead to further problems. You have two options - use a professed weakness such as a lack of experience (not ability) on your part in an area that is not vital for the job. The second option is to describe a personal or professional weakness that could also be considered to be a strength, and the steps you have taken to combat it. An example would be, 'I know my team think I'm too demanding at times - I tend to drive them pretty hard but I'm getting much better at using the carrot and not the stick'.
Q: Why do you want to leave your current employer?
A: State how you are looking for a new challenge, more responsibility, experience and a change of environment. Do not be negative in your reasons for leaving. It is rarely appropriate to cite salary as your primary motivator.
Q: Why have you applied for this particular job?
A: The employer is looking for evidence that the job suits you, fits in with your general aptitudes, coincides with your long-term goals and involves doing things you enjoy. Make sure you have a good understanding of the role and the organization, and describe the attributes of the organization that interest you most.
Other questions to consider:
• How does your job fit in to your department and company?
• What do you enjoy about this industry?
• Give an example of when you have worked under pressure.
• What kinds of people do you like working with?
• Give me an example of when your work was criticized.
• Give me an example of when you have felt anger at work. How did you cope and did you still perform a good job?
• What kind of people do you find it difficult to work with?
• Give me an example of when you have had to face a conflict of interest at work.
• Tell me about the last time you disagreed with your boss.
• Give me an example of when you haven't got on with others.
• Do you prefer to work alone or in a group? Why?
• This organization is very different to your current employer - how do you think you are going to fit in?
• What are you looking for in a company?
• How do you measure your own performance?
• What kind of pressures have you encountered at work?
• Are you a self-starter? Give me examples to demonstrate this?
• What changes in the workplace have caused you difficulty and why?
• How do you feel about working long hours and/or weekends?
• Give me an example of when you have been out of your depth.
• What have you failed to achieve to date?
• What can you bring to this organization?

Source: - United States-05.09.2011

Interview questions-Business Communication

Job interviews are often the most feared aspect of finding yourself employment, and yet they need not be that way. A critical trick is to know what questions you might be asked and hence have great answers already prepared for those tough questions you may be asked.
This section not only tells you how to answer interview questions, it also explains what they are looking for and hence lets you answer difficult questions with effective answers. Please do note: the answers offered here are to help you think and understand and may the right things to say in all situations.
Big picture
Big picture questions seek to understand the whole person, their overall motivations and their general approaches to work.
• Tell me about yourself: A classic opening question.
• Tell me about your last job: Seeking perspective and detail.
• Tell me about your career so far: Seeking patterns and themes.
• Please describe a typical day: Looking for what really happens.
• How does your current job fit into the overall business: Seeking strategic understanding.
• Tell me about your ideal job: Looking for key motivation.
Strength questions effectively ask 'Why should we employ you?' If these are not answered well then there is no chance you will get the job.
• What has made you successful?: Examples and reasons for success.
• What interests you most about this job?: Show your motivation.
• What is your greatest strength?: What you think you're good at.
• Tell me about when you were particularly challenged: Challenge brings out the real person.
• Tell me of a time when things went really well: ...and it was more than luck.
• Would you call yourself ...?: Probing for named qualities.
• What have you done that you are proud of?: Motivation and concern for self.
• What did you learn in that job?: Openness, learning, risk bias.
• Why should I employ you?: Show fit and motivation.
• What would you do if you got the job?: Strategic and tactical detail.
Possible weaknesses
Weakness questions seek to understand where you might not fit with the job. They are also a test of character, including how you face up to weaknesses and how you manage and improve them.
• What are your weaknesses?: Admit non-important weaknesses.
• What skills would you like to develop?: Motivation and new areas.
• Tell me about when something you did didn't work: Coping with failure.
• What did you like least about that job?: Checking the range of your motivation.
• What do you find difficult?: Show you can handle difficulties.
• How do you approach risks?: Show foresight and planning.
• What have you done that you are not proud of?: Exposing shame and values.
• Have you ever lost your job?: Show positive attitude.
• Do you take your work home with you?: Show both organization and passion for work.
Stress is a killer at work and many jobs are very stressful. People who are seeking stressful jobs and who cannot handle stress well are obviously not good candidates. This is also test of how honest you are with yourself - interviewers will watch for correlation of body language and answers.
• Can you work under pressure?: Demonstrate control and fortitude.
• What keeps you awake at night?: Whether you can relax or how you prioritize.
• What annoys you?: Show control and calm.
• How do you handle stressful situations?: Show that you are calm under fire.
• How do you handle criticism?: Positive learning or robust response.
• How do you respond to change?: Contribution, collaboration, leadership.
• Have you ever had to dismiss someone?: With sensitivity and due process.
• Do you plan to have children?: Respond carefully to this.
• What do you do to relax?: Show that you have a life!
• Do you take your work home?: Be willing to work extra when needed.
• That was stupid!: Assertive reframing or questioning back.
Working with others
Many jobs need you to work in teams and across departments. These questions seek to find out how good you are at this.
• Would you say that you stand out as an individual?: Be individual, but not anti-others.
• How do you work in teams?: Leader, follower, collaborator -- as appropriate.
• How do you handle conflict?: Show emotional maturity in mediation.
• What sorts of people do you not get on with?: Make it a bad person.
• Tell me about a time when you influenced someone else.: Show subtle changing of minds.
• What do you do when you disagree with others?: Manage emotions.
• How do you get on with others at work?: Sociability and assertiveness.
• What do you think about your manager?: Show you're a good employee.
• Tell me about the best manager you had: Describe good management.
If they like you, they may ask questions to determine what would stop you from working with them. This also helps them match the person with the job.
• Why are you looking for another job?: Tell reasons for leaving.
• What particularly attracted you to this job?: Tell reasons for joining.
• Are you prepared to travel?: Because this job has lots of it!
• What did you like/dislike about that job?: Show positive motivations.
• Why do you want to leave your current job?: Need to grow, etc.
• Which job did you like least?: Give good reasons.
• What salary are you seeking?: Don't be greedy and don't be timid.
• How long would it take to get up to speed in this job?: Be realistic. Show competence.
• What are your career aspirations?: Show good sense of the future.
• Do you work much outside normal hours?: Show control and flexibility.
Note also that although there are many ideas here, they do not cover the whole show. More questions can be asked and there can be other purpose to the questioning. The bottom line is to be calm, positive, interested, and enthusiastic or otherwise the ideal employee they are seeking!

Source: › Disciplines › Job-finding-05.09.2011

Leadership Development Methods and Tips- Communication Skills

Explaining and understanding the nature of good leadership is probably easier than practicing it. Good leadership requires deep human qualities, beyond conventional notions of authority.
In the modern age good leaders are an enabling force, helping people and organizations to perform and develop, which implies that a sophisticated alignment be achieved - of people's needs, and the aims of the organization.
The traditional concept of a leader being the directing chief at the top of a hierarchy is nowadays a very incomplete appreciation of what true leadership must be.
Effective leadership does not necessarily require great technical or intellectual capacity. These attributes might help, but they are not pivotal.
Good leadership in the modern age more importantly requires attitudes and behaviors which characterize and relate to humanity.
The concept of serving is fundamental to the leadership role. Good leadership involves serving the organization or group and the people within it. Ineffective leaders tend to invert this principle and consider merely that the leader must be served by the people. This faulty idea fosters the notion that leadership as an opportunity to take: to acquire personal status, advantage, gain, etc., at the expense of others, which is grossly wrong. Leadership is instead an opportunity to give; to serve the organization, and crucially the people too. The modern notions of 'servant leader' and 'servant leadership' are attributed to Robert K Greenleaf (in his 1970 essay The Servant as Leader) however the philosophy and concept of leadership being a serving function rather than one that is served, is very old indeed and found in ancient civilizations and religious writings.
Leadership is centrally concerned with people. Of course leadership involves decisions and actions relating to all sorts of other things, but leadership is special compared to any other role because of its unique responsibility for people - i.e., the followers of the leader - in whatever context leadership is seen to operate.
Many capabilities in life are a matter of acquiring skills and knowledge and then applying them in a reliable way. Leadership is quite different. Good leadership demands emotional strengths and behavioral characteristics which can draw deeply on a leader's mental and spiritual reserves.
The leadership role is an inevitable reflection of people's needs and challenges in modern life. Leadership is therefore a profound concept, with increasingly complex implications, driven by an increasingly complex and fast-changing world.
Leadership and management are commonly seen as the same thing, which they are not. Leadership is also misunderstood to mean directing and instructing people and making important decisions on behalf of an organization. Effective leadership is much more than these.
Good leaders are followed chiefly because people trust and respect them, rather than the skills they possess. Leadership is about behavior first, skills second.
This is a simple way to see how leadership is different to management:
• Management is mostly about processes.
• Leadership is mostly about behavior.
We could extend this to say:
• Management relies heavily on tangible measurable capabilities such as effective planning; the use of organizational systems; and the use of appropriate communications methods.
• Leadership involves many management skills, but generally as a secondary or background function of true leadership. Leadership instead relies most strongly on less tangible and less measurable things like trust, inspiration, attitude, decision-making, and personal character. These are not processes or skills or even necessarily the result of experience. They are facets of humanity, and are enabled mainly by the leader's character and especially his/her emotional reserves.
Another way to see leadership compared with management is that leadership does not crucially depend on the type of management methods and processes a leaders uses; leadership instead primarily depends on the ways in which the leader uses management methods and processes.
Good leadership depends on attitudinal qualities, not management processes.
Humanity is a way to describe these qualities, because this reflects the leader's vital relationship with people.
Qualities critical for a leader's relationship with his/her people is quite different to conventional skills and processes:
Examples of highly significant leadership qualities
• integrity
• honesty
• humility
• courage
• commitment
• sincerity
• passion
• confidence
• positivity
• wisdom
• determination
• compassion
• sensitivity
People with these sorts of behaviors and attitudes tend to attract followers. Followers are naturally drawn to people who exhibit strength and can inspire belief in others. These qualities tend to produce a charismatic effect. Charisma tends to result from effective leadership and the qualities which enable effective leadership. Charisma is by itself no guarantee of effective leadership.
Some people are born more naturally to leadership than others. Most people don't seek to be a leader, but many more people are able to lead, in one way or another and in one situation or another, than they realize.
People who want to be a leader can develop leadership ability. Leadership is not the exclusive preserve of the wealthy and educated.
Leadership is a matter of personal conviction and believing strongly in a cause or aim, whatever it is.
Leadership sometimes comes to people later in life, and this is no bad thing. Humanity tends to be generational characteristic. There is no real obstacle to people who seek to become leaders if leadership is approached with proper integrity. Anyone can be a leader if he/she is suitably driven to a particular cause.
And many qualities of effective leadership, like confidence and charisma, continue to grow from experience in the leadership role. Even initially surprised modest leaders can become great ones, and sometimes the greatest ones.
Leadership can be performed with different styles. Some leaders have one style, which is right for certain situations and wrong for others. Some leaders can adapt and use different leadership styles for given situations.
Adaptability of style is an increasingly significant aspect of leadership, because the world is increasingly complex and dynamic. Adaptability stems from objectivity, which in turn stems from emotional security and emotional maturity. Again these strengths are not dependent on wealth or education, or skills or processes.
Good leaders typically have a keen understanding of relationships within quite large and complex systems and networks. This may be from an intuitive angle, or a technical/learned angle, or both.
A very useful way to explore this crucial aspect of leadership with respect to wider relationships and systems is offered by the Psychological Contract and how that theory relates to organizations and leadership.
People new to leadership (and supervision and management) often feel under pressure to lead in a particularly dominant way. Sometimes this pressure on a new leader to impose their authority on the team comes from above. Dominant leadership is rarely appropriate however, especially for mature teams. Misreading this situation and attempting to be overly dominant, can then cause problems for a new leader. Resistance from the team becomes a problem, and a cycle of negative behaviors and reducing performance begins. Much of leadership is counter-intuitive. Leadership is often more about serving than leading. Besides which, individuals and teams tend not to resist or push against something in which they have a strong involvement/ownership/sense of control. People tend to respond well to thanks, encouragement, recognition, inclusiveness, etc. Tough, overly dominant leadership gives teams a lot to push against and resist. It also prevents a sense of ownership and self-control among the people being led. And it also inhibits the positive rewards and incentives (thanks, recognition, encouragement, etc) vital for teams and individuals to cope with change, and to enjoy themselves. Leaders of course need to be able to make tough decisions when required, but most importantly leaders should concentrate on enabling the team to thrive, which is actually a 'serving' role, not the dominant 'leading' role commonly associated with leadership.
Today ethical leadership is more important than ever. The world is more transparent and connected than it has ever been. The actions and philosophies of organizations are scrutinized by the media and the general public as never before. This coincides with massively increased awareness and interest among people everywhere in corporate responsibility and the many related concepts, such as social and community responsibility (see the ethical leadership and ethical organizations page). The modern leader needs to understand and aspire to leading people and achieving greatness in all these areas.
Here is (was..) an Excellent 30 minute BBC Radio 4 Discussion about Modern Leadership - (first broadcast 2 Sept 2006, part of the 'Sound Advice' series). Its mere existence is evidence of changed attitudes to leadership. Such a program would not have warranted BBC airtime a generation ago due to lack of audience interest. Today there is huge awareness of, and interest in, more modern leadership methods. The radio discussion highlighted the need for effective modern leaders to have emotional strength and sensitivity, far beyond traditional ideas of more limited autocratic leadership styles. I'm sorry (if still) this linked item is unavailable from the BBC website, especially if the recording is lost forever in the BBC's archives. If you know a suitably influential executive at the Beeb, who can liberate it please contact me.
Incidentally as a quick case-study, the BBC illustrates an important aspect of leadership, namely philosophy.
Philosophy (you could call it 'fundamental purpose') is the foundation on which to build strategy, management, operational activities, and pretty well everything else that happens in an organization.
Whatever the size of the organization, operational activities need to be reconcilable with a single congruent (fitting, harmonious) philosophy.
Executives, managers, staff, customers, suppliers, stakeholders, etc., need solid philosophical principles (another term would be a 'frame of reference') on which to base their expectations, decisions and actions. In a vast complex organization like the BBC, leadership will be very challenging at the best of times due to reasons of size, diversity, political and public interest, etc. Having a conflicting philosophy dramatically increases these difficulties for everyone, not least the leader, because the frame of reference is confusing.
For leadership to work well, people (employees and interested outsiders) must be able to connect their expectations, aims and activities to a basic purpose or philosophy of the organization. This foundational philosophy should provide vital reference points for employees' decisions and actions - an increasingly significant factor in modern 'empowered' organizations. Seeing a clear philosophy and purpose is also essential for staff, customers and outsiders in assessing crucial organizational characteristics such as integrity, ethics, fairness, quality and performance. A clear philosophy is vital to the 'psychological contract' - whether stated or unstated (almost always unstated) - on which people (employees, customers or observers) tend to judge their relationships and transactions.
The BBC is an example (it's not the only one) of an organization which has a confusing organizational philosophy. At times it is inherently conflicting. For example: Who are its owners? Who are its customers? What are its priorities and obligations? Are its commercial operations a means to an end, or an end in them? Is its main aim to provide commercial mainstream entertainment, or non-commercial education and information? Is it a public service, or is it a commercial provider? Will it one day be privatized in part or whole? If so will this threaten me or benefit me? As an employee am I sharing in something, or being exploited? As a customer (if the description is apt) am I also an owner? Or am I funding somebody else's gravy train? What are the organization's obligations to the state and to government?
Given such uncertainties, not only is there a very unclear basic philosophy and purpose, but also, it's very difficult to achieve consistency for leadership messages to staff and customers. Also, how can staff and customers align their efforts and expectations with such confusing aims and principles?
The BBC is just an example. There are many organizations, large and small, with conflicting and confusing fundamental aims. The lesson is that philosophy - or underpinning purpose - is the foundation on which leadership (for strategy, management, motivation, everything) is built. If the foundation is not solid and viable, and is not totally congruent with what follows, then everything built onto it is prone to wobble, and at times can fall over completely.
Get the philosophy right - solid and in harmony with the activities - and the foundation is strong.
Again, the Psychological Contract provides a helpful perspective for aligning people and organizational philosophy.
This of course gives rise to the question of what to do if you find yourself leading a team or organization which lacks clarity of fundamental philosophy and purpose, and here lies an inescapable difference between managing and leading:
As a leader your responsibility extends beyond leading the people. True leadership also includes - as far as your situation allows - the responsibility to protect or refine fundamental purpose and philosophy.
See also the notes and processes for incorporating fundamental philosophy within strategic business development and marketing.

Source: › leadership/management-05.09.2011

Business Communication

Business Communication:
Communication is used to promote a product, service, or organization; relay information within the business; or deal with legal and similar issues. It is also a means of relaying between a supply chain, for example the consumer and manufacturer.
Business Communication is known simply as "Communications". It encompasses a variety of topics, including Marketing, Branding, Customer relations, Consumer behavior, Advertising, Public relations, Corporate communication, Community engagement, Research & Measurement, Reputation management, Interpersonal communication, Employee engagement, Online communication, and Event management. It is closely related to the fields of professional communication and technical communication.
In business, the term communications encompasses various channels of communication, including the Internet, Print (Publications), Radio, Television, Ambient media, Outdoor, and Word of mouth.
Business Communication can also refer to internal communication. A communications director will typically manage internal communication and craft messages sent to employees. It is vital that internal communications are managed properly because a poorly crafted or managed message could foster distrust or hostility from employees.[1]
Business Communication is a common topic included in the curricula of Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programs of many universities. AS well, many community colleges and universities offer degrees in Communications.
There are several methods of business communication, including:
• Web-based communication - for better and improved communication, anytime anywhere ...
• video conferencing which allow people in different locations to hold interactive meetings;
• e-mails, which provide an instantaneous medium of written communication worldwide;
• Reports - important in documenting the activities of any department;
• Presentations - very popular method of communication in all types of organizations, usually involving audiovisual material, like copies of reports, or material prepared in Microsoft PowerPoint or Adobe Flash;
• telephoned meetings, which allow for long distance speech;
• forum boards, which allow people to instantly post information at a centralized location; and
• Face-to-face meetings, which are personal and should be succeeded by a written follow up.
Business communication is somewhat different and unique from other types of communication since the purpose of business is to make money. Thus, to develop profitability, the communicator should develop good communication skills.