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Erin McKean

Founder, Reverb Technologies/Wordnik

TEDCRED 200+

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How important is a common vocabulary for sharing ideas, and how do we arrive at one?

This Live Conversation will start on November 3, at 2pm ET / 11am PT.

Do we need to all be "on the same page" to have productive conversations? Do we have to use the same language or talk about ideas in the same way? What are some examples of vocabulary that's divisive, rather than helpful (e.g. "death panels")?

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Closing Statement from Erin McKean

Thanks so much for all the great stories and suggestions -- such a big question can't be answered in an hour, but it's wonderful to be able to talk about it with the TED community! For more discussions follow my Twitter at @emckean. Thanks everyone!

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  • Nov 3 2011: In my world, personal and cultural perception is what defines the underlying context of a language as a mean of communication. What we hear or understand from a language is our learned making perception, personal and cultural, and the underlying connection of that perception is emotional in one way or another. We try to communicate what we perceive in our world and people agree or disagree depending on how their perception lies closer or not in our own perception. What I have observed is that the underlying context of a dialogue and communication is fed by emotion hence the reaction on something said a certain way. There is an underling current in human communication that creates either conflict or agreement. I think that the individuality of who each person is is distinctive on its own. What we seek is agreement on our perception or rather an understanding on a human level.

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