Wednesday, February 6, 2008

How We Misread

Misunderstandings.

Do we know how they happen? Words said or written in one context, taken in another... you try to straighten it all out, and it muddles up further.

Text is a hard thing to deal with; written in the voice of one person, read in the voice of another, they can portray what we need to say perfectly, or what the sender feels is important can be overlooked while a minute issue is made large by the receiver... or vice versa.

Without the depth of voice, the ability to discuss, to soothe over rough spots. to volley back and forth to sort out what has caused problems...

Thus, letters or text messages fly out, perceptions happen, responses occur and feelings are hurt.

There isn't much you can do once this starts...until a voice steps in, until you can talk and say, "No, this is what I was saying, this is how I meant you to read it, I'm sorry."

Then, you can straighten it all out, figure out the important bits, discuss, dialogue, laugh, argue...

Words can make you swoon, laugh, cry, go to war, read non-stop into the middle of the night... a voice can add texture to those words.

For any one who misunderstood anything I've said, who has overlooked or underlooked.... I'm sorry.




Our Neville Fact:

Our Neville and Margaret never go to bed angry at one another. They are special that way.

11 comments:

TheInvestment said...

Using my nerd powers of brain I have created the perfect analogy.

Bear with me.

Words are like, as we say in the biz, a greybox level. Sure you can get around, and see point A and point B, but without textures(words) it's hard to understand what you're looking at. Textures aren't needed in the maps, but they sure do make everything else more easily understood and pretty.

Quin said...

you always make me smile. and, yeah, you understand me... scary, huh?

Peter Varvel said...

I guess emoticons would be fairly useless in this context.
:-) ;-) :-( :-p :-O

austere said...

Iff its important enough then you go ahead and shake the person up, "hullo hullo whats this to mean, eh, yes?" is it not, and else you tiptoe away all formal and nice.

correct, no?

golfwidow said...

I freak over being misunderstood all the time, because I feel like I failed at what I think is my biggest strength: my communication skills.

Quin said...

to all~exactly.

constant drama said...

Awwwww....if I'm there I will bake you cupakes, make you tea and give you a hug. But I alwats burn my cupcakes, and put too much sugar in my tea so I guess I can only give you a hug.....=(

MrHarlequin said...

Odd isn't it. You write eloquently, read it back and your heart warms with the knowledge you have expressed yourself clearly, explicitly and unambiguosly.

But your words get read with the viewpoint of another life, other experiences and transfer a completely different meaning.

Writing is like standing on top of a mountain, looking down and embracing, expressing all you see with a sweep of your arms and a cry to travel miles.

Reading is like standing at the foot of the mountain, wondering what the idiot on the top is doing, waving his arms and screaming.

"Come up and experience this total joy" the writer cries.

"Don't jump" mutters the reader, "you may land on me."

But sometimes talking doesn't help either, so which just leaves jumping and single malts.

Thank G-d for Scotland.

Oh, and for anything I've misunderstood, I'm sorry too.

Quin said...

it's why i often write with stage directions included in the letters...it helps.


cd... ((hugs))

Bud said...

Everybody brings there own stuff to any cmmunication so it's inevitable that we'll each be misunderstood on some level, great or small. In songwriting, I don't worry about it anymore. Whatever my lyrics mean to you, that's fine with me. Well, within certain limits, naturally. I wouldn't want to be labeled something ugly because of some insane misunderstanding. And I'll send you a T-shirt when they are done, which they aren't and I have no date yet as my designer is a busy freelancer.

Alone on the Isle said...

Even with all the negatives, there is a comfort in knowing that people care enough to take what you write to heart. Without a reaction, regardless of what it is, there would be no way to know that people care.