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Definition and Connotation of Communication


Communication is more than an exchange of information between individuals, development communication practitioners should also bear in mind the Latin connotation of the word…




The word “communication” is one of the most important word in the development communication sphere. As development communication practitioners who are tasked to communicate information to the target audience in the most effective way possible.  you should  have the appropriate knowledge of all the connotations of this word. This is because it is vital in organizing every aspect of whatever type of communication campaign you have in mind.

But what is, exactly, the definition of communication?

Communication came from the Latin word “communicare” meaning “to share” or “to be in relation with”. “Communicare” is a derivative of the word “commune” (“cum” = common or of the community and “munies” = office, appointment or task, responsibility) which means “someone who takes responsibility for the community”.

The Latin word “communicare”, therefore, denotes more than an exchange or transmission of information between one person to another. It is a social expression, which main goal is to prioritize values at the service of the community or for a cause. It is not enough to express, write or produce audiovisual media to communicate, but communication only happens when the information or message being transmitted is understood and is used to create knowledge among people.

In the modern world, William Newman and Charles Summer defined communication as “the exchange of facts, ideas, opinions or emotions by two or more people.” The Oxford Learner’s Dictionary defines communication as “the activity or process of expressing ideas and feelings.” The Merriam Webster, on the other hand, considers communication as “an act by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs or behavior. This exchange can happen via writing, speaking or gesturing.

While the Britannica Dictionary defines communication as “the process of using words, sounds, signs, or behavior to express ideas, thoughts, feelings to other individuals,” media critic and theorist James Carey views it as “a symbolic process whereby reality is produced, maintained, repaired and transformed, claiming furthermore that “reality is defined by sharing people’s individual experiences with others.”

While various scholars try to delve on the intricacies of the communication process and why communication may result in a success or a failure, development communication practitioners should not only focus on the appropriate definition of communication, but you should also direct your attention to the scope or purpose of your communication campaign to effectively conceptualize, implement and evaluate its results.

As a conclusion, communication is more than an exchange of information between individuals, development communication practitioners should always bear in mind the Latin connotation of the word because it is akin to the task you are called for: communication should be a social expression which main focus is to prioritize values at the service of the community or for a cause.

Communication, therefore, only happens when the information transmitted via a channel is understood and is used as a starting point for the construction of a common knowledge, a common culture and heritage, a common reality among a group or groups of people.


Web References:

. https://unaparolaalgiorno.it/significato/comunicare. .https://www.businessmanagementideas.com/communication/meaning-of-communication/20523
https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/communication
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/communicate
https://www.britannica.com/dictionary/communication
https://voxygen.net/james-carey-communication-as-culture/


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