Message

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"Communiqué" redirects here. For other uses, see Communiqué (disambiguation).
For other uses, see Message (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Massage or Messuage.
Geheime Korrespondenz (secret correspondence), by Carl von Bergen
A headstone message in the Jerusalem British World War I Cemetery on Mount Scopus

A message is a discrete unit of communication intended by the source for consumption by some recipient or group of recipients. A message may be delivered by various means, including courier, telegraphy, carrier pigeon and electronic bus. A message can be the content of a broadcast. An interactive exchange of messages forms a conversation.

One example of a message is a communiqué (pronounced /kəˈmjuːnk/), which is a brief report or statement released by a public agency.

Role in human communication[edit]

In communication between humans, messages can be verbal or nonverbal:

  • A verbal message is an exchange of information using words. Examples include face-to-face communication, telephone calls, voicemails, etc.
  • A nonverbal message is communicated through actions or behaviors rather than words, e.g. by the use of body language.

In computer science[edit]

There are two main senses of the word "message" in computing: messages between the human users of computer systems that are delivered by those computer systems, and messages passed between programs or between components of a single program, for their own purposes.

  • Instant messaging and e-mail are examples of computer software designed for delivering human-readable messages in formatted or unformatted text, from one person to another.
  • Message passing is a form of communication used in concurrent and parallel computing, object-oriented programming, and interprocess communication, where communication is made by sending messages to recipients. In a related use of this sense of a message, in object-oriented programming languages such as Smalltalk or Java, a message is sent to an object, specifying a request for action.

See also[edit]

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