Official Review: Communicating by Ruth Finnegan

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Official Review: Communicating by Ruth Finnegan

Post by lesler » 04 Nov 2018, 21:39

[Following is an official review of "Communicating" by Ruth Finnegan.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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The book Communicating: The Multiple Modes of Human Communication by Ruth Finnegan is a fascinating look at how interaction has evolved over the centuries. Communication is not only projected orally but through all the senses. Touch, sight, even smell is crucial to the overall development of communication, and the author provides well-documented research on how written communication especially has changed through the generations. From the hieroglyphs found from 5000 B.C.E on rock formations in southern Utah, to the recent use of emoji's in electronic communication, this book is a thorough foray into speech.

The book is divided into multiple sections, first documenting how the different senses affect our speech as a whole. The text then dives into the earliest known representations of written communication, and also how animal interaction compares to our bodily interactions without verbalization. As our spoken speech has developed over time, we have evolved further from animals in terms of communication, but we are still able to communicate effectively with animals if we know what physical clues to look for. The book is also full of illustrations providing a pictorial history of human speech.

I enjoyed this book immensely. I was worried it would read like a dry textbook, but the author does a wonderful job with the writing flow and information. I learned a lot from this book, and plan to reread it as necessary to reflect on the information learned. I really liked how the author organized the book in a way that was easy to follow. It was not necessarily chronological, but the book starts with the foundations of speech, how we use the five senses to communicate, and the future of communication was fascinating and informative.

I really enjoyed all the research the author did for this book, and feel so much more informed about the history of human interaction than I have ever been. The author does a wonderful job discussing how different languages affect specific cultures and gave me a lot to ponder. The author is from England and uses standard English as opposed to American English (i.e. "realise," "adrenalin," etc.) and this proved her point to me about communication that was not initially intended. This book is a quick read, with an interesting subject matter that I had never really thought of previously.

I give Communicating: The Multiple Modes of Human Communication 4 out of 4 stars for its interesting subject matter, smooth writing flow, and vivid illustrations. I recommend this book to any intellectual looking to either supplement their formal educational focus or simply anyone looking to learn more about this fascinating subject.

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Post by kandscreeley » 05 Nov 2018, 09:46

I'm glad this one didn't come across as dry because it would have the potential too. Still, I'd like to learn more about communication and how to do so better. Thanks. I'll put this one on my list.
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Post by Alicia09 » 05 Nov 2018, 11:36

I used to study communication as an undergrad, and I do remember some of our professors talking about how most of our communication is nonverbal. I would be particularly interested to read about how we as humans diverted from animals to the point where the only speech we have in common is the nonverbal speech (like facial expressions and gestures), because some have argued that even today most our communication between humans is still nonverbal. This is definitely going on my "Want to read" list. Thanks!

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Post by Mercy Bolo » 05 Nov 2018, 11:37

For a book about the history of communication, I like that the author presented the contents in a palatable manner. It's in-depth coverage of the subject make it a book I would browse through to relieve my curiosity.
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Post by sonya01 » 06 Nov 2018, 02:03

Thanks - this is just the sort of non-fiction book that appeals to me and I’ve added it to my bookshelves for a closer look. It’s fascinating how different we think we are from the animals, but we are just one step away in reality. It’s a good review and one that sparked my interest. Well done!

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Post by fredrick otieno » 07 Nov 2018, 08:21

I love such well written books with no errors. Communication is something that is important to all of us, I think is is a must read for all or let me just say, it is for me. Thank you for this good review.

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