Clarity and It's Lack.
Published on February 16, 2008 By Big Fat Daddy In Misc
When I was in high school and looking for a new series to read...I had just devoured all the 007s there were at the time...I picked up a Mike Hammer Mystery and started in. I knew there were a lot of books in the series so I figured if it was good...I was set. In the opening paragraphs, establishing the character and all, Mike mentions (all the great mysteries are in the first person) that he is just a shade under six one. Somehow in my adolescant mind, I read that to mean the was 61 years old. I threw the book aside because I wasn't going to invest a lot of time in stories about and OLD MAN. (This story is exceptionally painful considering I just past that landmark last month). So I missed out on all the Hammers because I was too dumb to understand what he was telling me...and I still haven't read a single Mike Hammer story.

I have been amazed by miscommunications and how easy it is to misread or just plain misunderstand things we read or hear. Who hasn't been surprised to learn the correct pronunciation of words you have read for years, knew just what they meant, but had never realized what they sounded like? Epitome? Or heard the lyrics of a song and couldn't understand why it included a line that had nothing to do with the rest of the song? The Buckingham's "Canada Dry"...(Kind of a Drag) or the famous Hendrix line, "'scuse me while I kiss this guy..." ( 'scuse me while I kiss the sky). Last year while teaching a class of adults, I asked why a certain individual acted the way he did and a sweet southern accented lady told me it was because he was a cannibal. I was dumbfounded...there was no supporting evidence in any of the literature about this person eating other persons...and the answer bore no bearing on the subject at all. "He was a cannibal?!!??" And the class broke into uproarious laughter. "I don't think so, " she responded, "but he was ACCOUNTABLE."

I was lucky to be sent to an NCO academy in my youth that taught the importance of clear communication and how to achieve it. One of the exercises we had to do in our instructor training was to sit back to back with another student and without looking, explain how to open a package of cigarettes and light one up. The explainer was responsible for creating clear instructions and the receiver was responsible to do EXACTLY what the other guy told him. It was hilarious...things like, "now put the cigarette in your mouth" and the receiver put the whole thing in his mouth..."now strike a match and hold it to the end of the cigarette...causing the receiver to balk...and the class to roar. I am still guilty of being a doof on occasion, but I do place high value on people who can communicate well. I have spent the majority of my adult life teaching in one capacity or another. I enjoy it ...a lot. Being in charge of training programs was the best part of my military career. I kind of take it for granted that I hold at least 50% responsibility for making sure I am understood when I say (or write) something. I have come to realize that not everyone feels the same way about it. A lot of people don't care if you get it or not...just listen in on a CB radio sometime and you'll see what I mean.....CB radio...what MamieLady calls the Redneck Internet. So, something to think about. Maybe you would like to share some of your own favorite misunderstandings ? I am sure you have a few.

I'll leave you with a couple more song lyrics I love to sing along to:

"...there's a bathroom and the right..." (bad moon on the rise)...CCR...Bad Moon Rising."...

"...you and me and Leslie..." (you and me endlessly)....Young Rascals...Groovin'

"...I've been through the desert on a horse with no legs..."....(a horse with no name)...America...Horse with no Name

"...teenage waitress..." (teenage wasteland)...the Who...can't remember the name of the song.

"...Leonard Wood and rusty shack..." (splintered wood and ) Saint Waylon...Old Church Hymns and Nursery Rhymes.

Well, you get the idea...have fun with it.

on Feb 16, 2008
I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant
on Feb 16, 2008
ROFL!!! I can't stop laughing at this one! ! You retell these stories in such a way, I can see it happening as I read....really funny!
on Feb 17, 2008
really funny!

Thank you, Maam...we aims to please.
on Feb 17, 2008

Accents are always going to do us in!  But even though I have had to go step by keystroke on some poeple, I know there will always be "to coincide".


(PR&TR) - Indian nation - Deep inside.