what is the meaning of tone in communicationv

How Words Can Change the Meaning and Tone of Communication

(Last Updated On: March 22, 2019)

Words are important instruments for communication. They are symbols that make communicating fairly interesting, meaningful and easy. Without words, we would probably all be talking in gibberish or sign languages that may put the whole world in complete chaos and misunderstanding. History has long been a witness to how words are so powerful as to actually prod actions and create identity that summons the innate goodness and courage in humanity. Words have been utilized to inspire people to a common cause of action that elevates freedom and justice. Words are indeed powerful—potent as a verbal weapon and evident in the works of revolutionary and freedom fighters. Yet they are also delicate and restrained like the works of poets.


Words Can Change The Meaning Of Communication

The power that words possess is a huge responsibility that those who use it can will it against them, or for them. The responsibility of using words as they are intended is often immensely neglected. There are instances, though, that words are given a different meaning, sometimes even to point where words are negatively used to connote a bad or drastically improper behavior.

For instance, the word “boss” can imply a somewhat negative gist because some people tend to associate the word with a superior who may be tyrannical in nature, or imposes orders that often violates liberty in thought and action. The word “bossy” may have been coined to connote a dictator-like person that solicits fear and loathe from subordinates. Such is the enormous power that words carry. It may change how people look at experiences, scenarios and other people, even how attitudes and behaviors are carried out.

Words such as cheap, childish and skinny may elicit a somewhat negative tone if use to describe a person. Gross, pathetic and fat can be hurtful statements if used to personally associate them to a person.

Words, having de-notative meanings, can be defined simply by their lexical equivalents or dictionary-derived meanings. They are differentiated by etymology and usage. Furthermore, they are also connotative. Words may imply a negative or positive meaning that often changes the sound and visual image of a conversation. It is therefore important to grasp the fundamental meanings of words to be able to use it in a positive tone. The connection that communication intended for words to provide can be affected by a simple disregard of the connotative equivalent of words.

Also, it would be helpful if we avoid linking negative behavior or visual description to a particular word. As it may sound displeasing and uncomfortable for others to hear words with negative connotations, it is always safe to utilize synonyms and other equivalent that may altogether give the statement or conversation a positive and pleasant tone.  A conscious awareness of words and their connotative meanings may be very helpful in the process of connecting with others through the use of communication symbols.

Words indeed paint a thousand pictures, and a thousand meanings. Choosing words properly and associating them with proper and pleasing tone can be a healthy way of communicating with peers, colleagues and other persons.

Choosing the right words to use is a must when it comes to Translation Services, this is why our translators are not just translating word for word, they are actually translating the meaning of the phrase.


Have you ever felt a time where your partner in communication is noticeably arrogant? Have you had an executive whose way of giving instructions comes across as overly offensive? You may have observed scared, even though the actual message was good. Why was that? Just the way in which a person applies their body when communicating can be in direct contradiction to the words coming out of their mouths, so can the tone, pace, and rhythm and inflection of speech differ the spoken message. Being informed not only of the words but how you are presenting them is essential to make sure your message is accepted the way you expect it to  be.

The tone of Voice: Voice intonation refers to the use of changing pitch to send a message. Changes in tone can help include sentiments into words -  words can be dark or upbeat, depending on the speaker’s sound. Changes in tone can also help distinguish the meaning of a sentence.


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