Exploring My Use of Language in Various Contexts in Real-Time


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Exploring My Use of Language in Various Contexts in Real-Time

The way people communicate with each other varies largely according to context. Additionally, language and communication that people use depend on the parties involved in the conversation. The way I speak to my supervisor at work is not the same way I speak on social media or even to my family members back at home. Some contexts demand a more respectful tone and vocabulary, while others get by fine with the use of informal language. At home, one tends to find themselves using a lot of slang and informal language as opposed to work, where they use formal language to address colleagues. Similarly, the language I use to chat with friends on social media applications such as Instagram are different from the language I use to address my boss at work. This assignment provides a comparison and contrasts report in the language varieties in the way I communicate to my boss at work, my online followers on Instagram, and my family members, including my parents and siblings.

Working as a sales associate at a start-up e-commerce company requires me to constantly be in communication with many people. My job sometimes gets overwhelming, forcing me to speak to more than one person at the same time. The way I interact and communicate with my boss and colleagues at work is unique. I like to address my supervisor using formal language rather than slang because it is a professional environment. I believe there should be boundaries when it comes to how colleagues interact as it helps keep people objective on their common goals as an organization. This is why I prefer respectful language, including titles such as Sir, Mister, and Miss, when speaking to my colleagues. When speaking to my boss, I always address him as Sir, both in person and by email and text messages. I prefer addressing him as sir as I believe it is a sign of respect. When speaking to my boss, I avoid as much as possible to use slang or sentence fragments. I only use complete statements when speaking to my supervisor in person and via email. I find using statements fragments or slang in a professional/work setting rude and unprofessional. Worth noting that when communicating with my supervisor, I rarely use emojis or reactions as we rarely talk about work-related business via text. Our communication is mostly in-person during our 9-5 shift and on email. I avoid employing emojis on email as I find it unprofessional. Worth noting, while addressing my supervisor on email, I use expressions such as “Dear Sir” and “yours sincerely or faithfully” at the end of my email. I have also formed a habit of saying hello to him whenever I see him and telling him good morning when I check in for work every day. The same applies to email and text messages conversation. Whenever I am texting my boss, I begin with a “good morning, afternoon, or evening” depending on the time I am texting him. I do this as it is respectful first to greet a person, find out if one is doing alright before proceeding to talk about what they are texting regarding.

When it comes to communicating on Social media, particularly Instagram, my interactions and language discourse is less reserved and informal. I use more slang when chatting with my online friends and also use shortened words more than when I am addressing my colleagues or supervisor at work. For instance, when commenting on a friend’s photo, I am more likely to use emojis that represent my emotions than when texting with my supervisor. I will use a laughing emoji, a heart eyes emoji or sad face emoji to express my feelings. I feel it is okay to use emojis and slang as such contexts are more informal and less serious than conversations with my boss where power differences apply. I feel that using emojis takes away from the seriousness of a situation. Also, when speaking to my online friends, I tend to use mixed languages such as Spanish and English as opposed to speaking with my colleagues, as I have to use fluent English in all my phone conversations. I use Spanish because it is my mother language, and I have many followers who speak the same language. Sometimes I find myself posting something and having to include a translated caption in English or Spanish to be as accommodating as possible to people of all demographics. Worth noting, that on Instagram and other social media platforms I never shy away from using emojis or GIF reactions on other people’s instaStories or in conversations. I feel Instagram is the perfect place to chat using emojis as it makes the online interaction as realistic as possible.

When it comes to family interactions, my approach is similar to the one I use for social media interactions. As a family, we enjoy open conversations with each other, and as such we find ourselves using a lot of slang and shortened words. We, at times use sentences that are grammatically incorrect as we speak to one another. I do not think there I anything wrong with it as we tend to enjoy it, and the bottom line is that we always understand each other. Additionally, when speaking with my siblings, it is common for me to use sentence fragments as opposed to when I am addressing my colleagues or boss within a work environment. Worth noting, as a family, we have a family group where all members of the family, including extended family members, chat and keep in touch with each other virtually. On the platform, we use emojis, memes and GIFs as reactions to each other’s conversations. It is a fun yet an engaging way of keeping in touch with each other.

In closing, conducting this exercise and taking note of my language varieties in various contexts was an eye-opener for how quickly a person changes their language discourse subconsciously to suit a specific environment. Taking note of how I change my language according to context has helped me realize that I am assertive and like to have fruitful engagements with the people I communicate with. The exercise has also taught me the need to be self-aware of my changing environments and adapt accordingly to best suit the needs of the people I am communicating with.