Internal Affairs Language Analysis

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Introduction Communication is the deliberate or accidental transfer of meaning by the use of verbal and nonverbal ques. In the Law and Order SVU episode “Internal Affairs,” Olivia Benson shows great use of verbal and nonverbal communication while talking to suspects, investigators, and fellow coworkers. This episode is about corruption within a police department where the officers are taking home drunk girls and raping them. However, Olivia and her team want to collect enough evidence to prosecute the officers, so they send Olivia’s boyfriend in as an undercover cop. After watching this episode I was able to pick up on many verbal and nonverbal ques by Olivia, whether it was interpersonal or within a small group of people. Some of the verbal…show more content…
However, the next example of verbal communication by Benson is not lacking empathy. Being a product of rape and having close calls of being raped herself, Olivia is able to connect with the victims through their perspective and meaning of the situation. She does not have a barrier between her and her victims because she has empathy and understanding for their situations. Rather than just having a denotative meaning or dictionary meaning she has a connotative meaning too. Having an understanding of both makes her have a better understanding of her victims. This is because she understands that people and experiences give the real meaning of words, also known as labeling. The last example of verbal communication that I could find had to do with abstractions and jargons that make communication in her profession easier. Some of these abstractions or jargons are vic for victim, DIP for drunk in public, and perp for perpetrator of crime. An example that Olivia Benson uses for an abstraction when talking to the chief of police is “…[h]e filed a compliment her last year. Maybe trying to blame the vic.” She uses “vic” to describe the victim without using a bunch of words. These example are all her use of verbal…show more content…
Olivia uses kinesics also known as body language often when talking to victims, suspects, and he Special Victims Unit (SVU). Olivia raises her eyebrows a lot when she doesn’t agree with something or is surprised that someone said something. She also shuts her eyes when she is thinking or trying to remember something. She even rolled her eyes at her boss when he said “let’s get our ducks in a row before we go hunting” because she did not agree with him. She thought that they should arrest the corrupt officers now before they hurt anyone else. However, he boss wanted more evidence first. Olivia’s job also requires her use of paralanguage also known as the different elements of voice. She uses pitch, volume, rate, and silence very heavily when working with victims and suspects in the interrogation room. Her paralanguage is really important when talking to these people because it betrays her emotions. How understanding she is, how angry, how much she cares, and many other emotions can be displayed through her use of paralanguage. For example, when she was trying to get the female officer to rat out the male officer she started to talk in a sensitive tone. She paraphrased what the female officer believed about her partner and then shed light on the truth. This lead the officer into unconsciously ratting out her partner for raping drunk

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