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Communication is the process of exchanging information, usually via common system of symbols. It takes a wide variety of forms, from two people having a face-to-face conversation, to hand signals, to messages sent over global telecommunication networks. The process of communication is what allows us to interact with other people; without it, we would be unable to share knowledge or experiences with anything outside of ourselves. Common forms of communication include speaking, writing, gestures, and broadcasting.

The hand, a phenomenon exclusive to Humans (and Chimpanzees) is perhaps the "original communication tool" where it can express caring, hatred, construction, destruction, aproval or condemnation. To the deaf it is their "way out"; to the blind, it is their way in. To the artist, it is their way through; to the writer, it is the way with.

The Latin root word of "communication" is comunicare, which has three possible meanings
1. "to make common", which is probably derived from either 2 or 3
2. cum + munus, i.e. having gifts to share in a mutual donation.
3. cum + munire, i.e. building together a defense, like the walls of a city

Table of contents
1 Defining communication
2 Types of communication
3 Academic study
4 Communication technology
5 References
6 Related Articles
7 External links

Defining communication

There is no single definition of communication that satisfies everyone. In 1970, Frank Dance had identified 126 published definitions. [1]

Types of communication

To some people "Communication" implies two different, and sometimes conflicting, things. On the one hand, it means to have a thoughtful exchange of views (dialogue) with a small number of people, perhaps just one. But it can also mean to disseminate broadly a simple message (compare broadcasting), without deep thought or appeals for feedback.


Main article: Interpersonal communication

The most basic forms of communication are primarily those which involve communicating with people immediately present, such as one-on-one and group conversations.


Main article: Telecommunication

Telecommunication is communication over spatial distances. The term is most often used in describing electronic means of communication, but can also include methods such as smoke signals and semaphore.


Main article: Animal communication

Humans are not the only creatures who communicate. Animals share information with each other in a variety of ways.

Academic study

The various aspects of communicating have long been the subject of human study. In ancient Greece, the study of rhetoric, the art of effective speaking and persuasion, was a vital subject for students.

In the early 20th century, many specialists began to study communication as a specific part of their academic disciplines. Communication studies began to emerge as a distinct academic field in the mid-20th century. Marshall McLuhan was one of the early pioneers.

Communication technology

In more technical senses, see also telegraphy, telephone, computer network.

As regards human communication these diverse fields can be divided into those which cultivate a thoughtful exchange between a small number of people (debate, talk radio, e-mail, personal letters) on the one hand; and those which disseminate broadly a simple message (Public relations, television, Hollywood films.)

Our indebtedness to the Romans in the field of communication does not end with the root "communicare". They devised what might be described as the first real mail or postal system in order to control the empire from Rome by gathering knowledge about events in faroff places.

As the Romans well knew, communication is as much about taking in towards the centre as it is about putting out towards the extremes.

In virtual management an important issue is computer-mediated communication.

The view people take to communication is changing, as new technologies change the way they communicate and organize. This new trend in communication, decentralized personal networking, is termed smartmobbing.


[1] Dance, Frank. "The 'concept' of communication. Journal of Communication, 20, 201-210 (1970).

Related Articles

External links