Bittered Sling Bitters | How Language and Reasoning Affect Communication.
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How Language and Reasoning Affect Communication.

Spiced Harvest drink Bittered Sling Zingiber Crabapple Bitters bottle beside

How Language and Reasoning Affect Communication.

Being An Effective Responder Is Just As Important As Being An Effective Listener
By Lauren Paylor

Robin Sharma once said, “Words can inspire, and words can destroy. Choose yours well.” It is a quote that I find myself referencing every single day. Being in a career where my job is to work with and for people, communication, and the words that I decide to utilize are of great importance.

When we think of health, we usually default to thinking about our physical health. However, there are several other aspects besides our physical wellness that play a part in our overall wellness.

Today, we will explore reasoning and language and how they impact the way that we think and the way that we communicate. Think about what part you play and how language and reasoning have affected your life and your decisions.

A fallacy is a way of reasoning that denotes an error in what you are saying. The ideas might be arranged correctly, but something you said is not exactly right. The content is wrong or unconventional. The importance of understanding fallacies regarding the language that we choose to use is that when we work in bars and restaurants, we want to be effective listeners and effective responders. 

One type of fallacy is called a false dilemma. It describes a way of thinking that presents itself as black and white when, in fact, there are many shades of grey. We usually see this used in marketing, where they know that they are doing this, and politics, where they believe that there is only one answer. An example would be, “You can only like white wine or red wine. Those are the only two options.” Obviously, we know that there are many more options and delicious ones at that. Being aware of our options empowers our ability to speak up and to make corrections. Understand the mechanism (the fallacy); don’t get upset at the message.

Doublespeak is a language that deliberately obscures, disguises, distorts, or reverses words’ meaning. Doublespeak may take the form of euphemisms, which is primarily meant to make the truth sound more palatable. Throughout history, we have seen the language utilized as a weapon. Imagine being a new restaurant that is getting ready to sign paperwork that validates your establishment. If a company writes a contract in such a way that you think that you understand what your obligations are, but in reality, don’t, you may agree to something you don’t understand and ultimately be unable to fulfill your obligation. This is problematic and happens all too often. 

In Doublespeak by William Lutz, jargon is defined as the specialized language of a trade, profession, or similar groups. Within a group, it serves as a verbal shorthand that allows members to communicate clearly, efficiently, and quickly. It also serves as a mark of membership to be able to understand. Jargon as doublespeak often makes the simple appear complex, the ordinary profound, or the obvious insightful. Its main purpose is to confuse or to deflect. An example of jargon would be referring to smelling as Organoleptic Analysis or glass as Fused Silicate. 

Jargon does not really relate to the food and beverage industry in regards to doublespeak. However, it does allow us to understand how jargon can be used in gobbledygook or bureaucratese in relation to the food and beverage industry. Doublespeak refers to gobbledygook or bureaucratese as a matter of overwhelming the audience with words; the bigger the word and the longer the sentences, the better. Sometimes gobbledygook sounds impressive when spoken, but it doesn’t even make sense when analyzed in print. Jargon can be used in gobbledygook. Gobbledygook is so confusing it often sounds eloquent when in fact, it’s just verbose and inaccurate. Let’s look at an example of gobbledygook in the food and beverage setting. 

Let’s say that you just started working at a brand new Italian restaurant and are getting ready to serve your first table. Someone asks you a question about a Chianti on the menu. They want to know what it’s like, where it comes from etc. You respond with the following statement: “This wine needs aeration, it is light on the palate, it is big and bold and very complex.” This description didn’t provide the guest with any information about the wine. We don’t know their wine knowledge. While these words make sense and you or I may be able to decipher what is attempting to be said, placed together with no context or explanation, they are gobbledygook. We might consider saying the following instead: This Chianti does best when it has time to open up outside the bottle. It is layered with flavour and very complex. The full-bodied flavours come from the ripeness of the grape when fermented. Despite its boldness in character, it is very light in density on the palate. Understand the difference? 

When communicating, be educated on the mechanism that influences the message and don’t react to the message. You are in control of the language that you used. Your response is just as important as the statement and argument you are attempting to make. Having a good understanding of reasoning and language will set us up for success. It is an opportunity to educate others. Language and reasoning impact decisions that affect your overall wellness -physical, mental and financial. Taking the time to communicate properly and to listen well makes our decision to respond and to react to an easier one. We should all want to make well-informed decisions, and having the appropriate resources makes it easier to do so.

Resources That I Recommend:

Want to learn more?
Doublespeak by William Lutz Doublespeak 

Where to start?
Effective Communication

We Need To Talk by Celeste Headlee

Why should I care? 
Community Building

We Keep Us Safe by Zach Norris

Spiced Harvest
1.5 oz Seedlip Grove
¾ oz Lemon Juice
¾ oz Spiced Hibiscus Ginger Tea Syrup
1 oz Aquafaba
2 dashes Bittered Sling Zingiber Crabapple Bitters
1 oz Club Soda

Spiced Hibiscus Ginger Tea Syrup
½ cup Ginger Tea
½ cup Hibiscus Tea
2 Star Anise
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Cup Granulated Cane Sugar

Brew tea and add sugar. Stir until dissolved. Place spices into a container and leave in the container for 24 hours. Once cooled, place into the fridge in an airtight container.