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Aviation Communication

Between Theory and Practice


Edited By Silvia Hansen-Schirra and Karin Maksymski

This book contains a collection of articles dealing with aviation communication from a practical as well as a theoretical perspective. Its publication arises as a result of the conference «Languages and cultures above the clouds – International English between standardization and everyday aviation communication», which took place on the 4th and 5th November 2010 at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Germersheim. The book substantiates and prospectively encourages an exchange between pilots, air traffic controllers, (language) trainers and researchers, i.e. an exchange between theory and practice. Not only does it contribute to the discussion of communication problems, but also to the development of efficient solutions concerning communication in Air Traffic Control.


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Alice Müller-Leonhardt: “…Words Were Originally Magic…”Constructiv(ist) Thinking about Language with Regard to Incident Investigation


76 Civil Aviation Authority. [11.8.2011]. Hollnagel, Erik (2001): “Anticipating Failures: What Should Predictions Be About?”, in: The Human Factor in System Reliability – Is Human Performance Predictable? RTO Meeting Proceedings 32, RTO-MP-32, January, Cedex, France, RTO, NATO. PubFulltext/RTO/MP/RTO-MP-032///MP-032-$KN.pdf [11.8.2011]. Hollnagel, Erik/David D. Woods/Nancy Leveson (ed.) (2006): Resilience Engineering. Concepts and Precepts. Ashgate Publishing Ltd. Yerkes, Robert M./John D. Dodson (1908): “The Relation of Strength of Stimulus to Rapidity of Habit-Formation”, in: Journal of Comparative Neurology and Psychology, 18 (5), 459-482. 77 Alice Müller-Leonhardt “…Words Were Originally Magic…” Constructiv(ist) Thinking about Language with Regard to Incident Investigation 1 Introduction Based on the constructivist Steve de Shazer, who developed the Solution Fo- cused Brief Therapy, this contribution addresses the solution-focused effect of words and language. The title of this article is borrowed from de Shazer’s book on the constructivist use of language, which in turn is based on the conclusion of Sigmund Freud, who, in 1915, re-discovered the magic of words: “[…] Words were originally magic, and to this day words have retained much of their ancient magical power. By words one person can make another blissfully happy or drive him to despair. […] Words provoke affects and are in general the means of mutual influence among men.” (Freud 1915-1917, in: de Shazer 1994: 3) De Shazer adds that words, and also silences, gestures, facial expressions, etc., are a part of language. Further, he assumes that “To look at the magic of words, we need to look at...

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