When a sentence can reasonably be interpreted in more than one way.

Rules describing the proper construction of phrases and sentences.

The occurrence and ordering of words and sounds to convey an intended meaning.

When speakers assume that those who share their culture will have the same knowledge of a word's meaning and make the same judgments on the correct use of a word.

Unstated comparisons between things or events that share some feature.

First, be clear, and second, be polite.

The public self-image that we want to claim for ourselves.

The substitution of vague or less emotionally charged words for more direct options.

A communication system made up of formal units combined in systematic ways to cooperatively make meaning.

Communication strategies designed to protect our and others' face.