Why is communication important? You asked Google – here’s the answer | Emma Barnett

Every day millions of internet users ask Google life’s most difficult questions, big and small. Our writers answer some of the commonest queries

A fellow broadcaster recently told me of interviewing a twentysomething American woman who’d lost virtually all her words after collapsing after an aneurism. She spoke of an inner peace when she awoke as she no longer had an internal monologue. Can you imagine?

But one of the hardest things for her to master when relearning language and how to express herself verbally was subtext. Something none of us ever think about – what people really mean when they are communicating. Through years of fine-tuning since childhood, we’ve tried to learn, as best we can, the social cues that allow us to derive what people actually mean by what they say or often, by what they don’t.

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Alex Vidal