Media Language, Clear or Obscure
Be clear, not obscure. One of the four maxims for optimal communication is that it is essential to develop proficiency in being concise and clear. The question is whether this is really a good idea in all contexts. There is some evidence to the contrary. Undoubtedly, we have many contexts where it is important for mutual understanding that we be clear and concise. This is true of instructions for electronic equipment and for household appliances. Here, linguistic brevity and clarity may be preferable, but not in other cases. Culture, globalization, and the recognition of ever faster growth in diversity, means that media need to be very cognizant of the stringency with which they handle the advice to be linguistically clear and concise. The need to pay great attention to situational awareness is highly visible and intrusive. Attention to situational awareness seems to be crucial for the survival of free speech.