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The Importance of Being Able to Say What You Mean
The importance of being able to say what you mean
What Is Mitigation?

Mitigated speech is a fancy linguistic term for sugarcoating what you are saying. We all do it. In fact, I would guess that we all do it every day. Fischer and Orasanu (1999) described the degrees of mitigation that exist between two individuals. They came up with six categories ranging from sugar-free to sugar-covered jelly donut.

  • Command. “Strategy X is going to be implemented.”
  • Team Obligation Statement. “We need to try strategy X.”
  • Team Suggestion. “Why don't we try strategy X?”
  • Query. “Do you think strategy X would help us in this situation?”
  • Preference. “Perhaps we should take a look at one of these Y alternatives.”
  • Hint. “I wonder if ...

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