AOB Elements    


Priming a search engine with Indirect Communication produces a variety of meanings. Two of the meanings arise in philosophical contexts.  Others arise from the nature of the links between members of a group sending or receiving messages.

From the search, the meaning of Indirect Communication most consistent with AOB is that the message is not stated as clearly and unambiguously as possible but is in the form of a suggestion or hint which requires interpretation by the recipient.  The sender of the message builds in an obliqueness which the receiver has to work upon to extract the intended meaning.

A summary of the webtrawl results may be seen in:

The Many Meanings of Indirect Communication


Indirect Communication Defined

In defining Indirect Communication in the context of AOB a conceptual and pragmatic approach has been adopted. As such, the definition reflects the expectation that the recipient is either involved in constructing the message beforehand or in processing the message on receipt to extract the intended meaning.  With these considerations in mind, Indirect Communication is here defined as

The transmission of a message, the content of which requires recognition in accordance with prior arrangement or processing by the recipient to extract the intended meaning.

In some military and intelligence circles the term used is Veiled Communication.


Examples from History

History abounds in examples of indirect communication.  The following were chosen to yield, from analysis, a number of the principal features of indirect communication.

Biblical Court Military Back-slang
David & Jonathan Friedrich & Voltaire Napier in India Quintin Hogg



Together these examples show that indirect communication can be planned, spontaneous, humorous, verbal, non-verbal, high-level and low-level.

There are many more variations on the indirect theme.  In its verbal form an indirect communication can, in addition to the familiar modes of expression, include word association, double-entendre, word coincidence and word omission techniques of conveying  information.  Other techniques of indirect communication include number and non-verbal signalling, event and time coincidence, role-playing, games, analogy and allegory.

The identification of the source of the communication can also be indirect and include, for example, number, word, time, occasion and speciality identifiers.

AOB Elements