Right up to yesterday, I've spent or misspent a 25-year-career trying to articulate what communication is. A little late, it occurs to me I might have been better off all along describing what communication is not.
Communication is either I have something in my head that I'd like to put in your head. Or, communication is I think there's something your head that I want inside mine.
Communication is not:
Covering your ass.
Trying to get a rise out of people.
Trying to get attention.
Being nice to people you don't like.
Subtly insulting your wife, for some reason.
Those things are all time-honored and legitimate human activities, with names of their own. Names other than communication.
Strunk & White said, "When you say something, make sure you have said it. The chances of your having said it are only fair."
Murray says, "When you say you're communicating, make sure you're communicating, and not doing some other thing instead."