Cecily Robertson '12The beauty of language is that it’s constantly evolving. Whether you’re literally (not literally) vomiting when you overhear “bae,” or writing 140-character Twitterature, chances are you’re part of a micro-language or two. You know—the made-up words you use with your friends that make you feel like Tolkien, just a little less genius. There’s something deeply satisfying in shouting “Put your jibberjibbies away! No one wants to smell that!” and watching your roommate tuck her feet back into her shoes. Or when you’re trying to play it cool but your sister says she can tell you’re feeling melankanye. It’s meeting a friend for “lunchers” instead of lunch. Knowing you can count on your boyfriend to play The Sixth Sense when you say you’re in the mood for Shamalamadingdong. I think we all know “bae,” “on-fleek” and “shipping” won’t be around forever. Isn’t it nice to know that it’s our intimate non-words that will live on infinitely?
Marline Faherty '01Today’s forms of communication are far different than when I first came to Drury. I don’t want to date myself too much, but the only options available were “snail mail,” phones and fax machines. If you wanted to communicate with someone, you picked up the phone, met face-to-face, sent a letter, or if you really wanted to be speedy, faxed your documents—sometimes multiple times if they didn’t go through clearly. Even email communication is seemingly archaic nowadays. Most people prefer text messages with “emojis” and sending “snaps” with Snapchat. I won’t even start on Twitter as I have no idea how you are to communicate with only 140 characters! #oldandclueless. Terms have developed new meanings and using an old meaning often earns a funny look; words like “thongs,” which used to mean flip-flop sandals is now a type of women’s undergarments.Wow, now I feel really old. I think I need to go take a nap. Oh, wait—I just learned that means “not a problem.” Insert annoyed emoji here.
Office of Academic Affairs
Dr. Teresa HornsbyI miss the good ol’ days when my students would return my emails. At its onset, emailing students was new, bordering on edgy. It was direct, conversational, and one could be articulate. One could get a sense of personalities, and I knew that the students received necessary information that I forgot to mention in class. Now, my student emails go out into some airless void, like a signal into space. There are so many options now for communicating: telephone voice and text, IM, Skype, social media and more. The paradox of having more options is worse in regards to direct communication with students. By using a technology that is ephemeral, discursive and impersonal, the message itself becomes diluted and takes on those same qualities. Telecomm complexity can both disrupt and reinforce meaning. While email still holds promise for those “brilliant” thoughts I get at 1 a.m., the only sure way for solid communication is face-to-face.
Professor of Religion
Christina Todea '16We currently have more communication tools available to us than ever before, yet we still struggle to communicate effectively. Why? When I started my term as SGA President in January, we knew communication was something we wanted to improve. One of my favorite things about SGA is that it’s feedback-based. We depend on student responses, and it quickly became clear to us that if we wanted to be effective, 50% of our communication had to be just listening. We listen to bring relevant and lasting changes, but the concept applies to everyone. When was the last time that we really listened to someone? Not looking at our phone, not multitasking – just looked someone in the eyes, listened to them and tried to understand where they were coming from. Never underestimate the power of listening.