It has been theorized that the ability to communicate through language made the human species possible and in the same way, each individual becomes humanized as he/she enters into verbal communication with those around (Simmons-McDonald). If this statement is accepted as true, then it follows that the continued development of the human species depends on each individual being able to participate effectively in the process of communication. Was this the message of the movie “My Fair Lady”? Mr. Higgins certainly believed that a person’s accent and tone of voice determine his/her prospects in society and that ‘verbal class distinction could be extinct if the English taught their children how to speak.’
The process of effective communication has been broadly defined as the successful exchange of information through a series of stages consisting of Sender, Encoding, Channel, Decoding, Receiver, and Feedback in a particular Context. The goal of effective communication is getting the message across without misunderstanding and confusion. Effort should therefore be directed at reducing the frequency of problems at each stage of this process with clear, accurate, well- planned communications. This paper will focus on the use of communication codes to exclude or include individuals in social contexts in the movie “My Fair Lady”.
Encoding is the process of transferring the information being communicated into a form that can be sent and correctly decoded at the other end. So, in a sense all language and writing systems are codes. The ability to encode effectively is vital to successful communication. It requires the sender to convey information clearly and simply, as well as having such in-depth knowledge of the audience that he/she can anticipate and eliminate any sources of confusion that may arise. These include cultural issues, mistaken assumptions, missing information. The sender should consider the following: