Improving Reading Comprehension Part 4 – The Problem Created By Inflection

Without a doubt, comprehension remains the primary focus while reading. In this series of articles, you have been learning about items that can interfere with successful comprehension during reading. In this article, you will learn about something most readers would not consider a factor while reading. The influence of inflection.

Did you know that almost 85% of all communication is non-verbal? It is dependent upon your tone or voice inflection, facial expression, and context. Let me give you a few simple examples that will make this easy to understand.

Suppose I said, “I am very happy to be here. It is always a pleasure to see you.” How would you interpret this? Most people would read this as a positive expression or exchange. However, what if you could hear me saying this words. Saying them with a sneer, and deeply cynical voice pattern would certainly make you think of this quite differently. Here’s the problem, you can’t hear the way I saying these words while reading them in text. Let’s see how this problem is compounded by the way in which most people write.

When most people write, they hear a voice inside of their head that dictates what they want to say. As the words flow through they inner ear, they write them down. The problem is the inner voice doesn’t just say the words. The inner voice also inflects while saying this words. This inflection can add a tone to the meaning. A tone that can completely change the meaning of the words.

As you read text you own inner voice is pronouncing the words for you, one word at a time. Problem is your inner voice hears the words the way you would probably say them. If the writer’s tone was completely different, it can radically change the meaning of what you are reading. You must pay careful attention to words and phrases while reading. Especially if you are confused by what you are reading. This confusion may be caused by the incorrect tonal interpretations of your brain while reading the text. As you can see inflection can play a major role in causing confusion while reading. It is a good example of getting hurt by something you didn’t know about.

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