“England and America are two countries divided by a common language.”
One of the biggest confusions people can have in communication is using the same words, but meaning different things.
I don’t mean homonyms, stereotype, or any other typifying agent. I’m not talking about the pronunciation of tomato or potato either. I’m talking about literal speech, interpretation, and where it all falls down between people.
We see this kind of improperly filtered language problem all the time with conversation. Whether we’re speaking or listening, we miss bits where they’re important.
If you ask how I’m doing, and I respond with “I’m fine.” – what do you think I mean? Do I really mean I’m doing well, or am I perhaps masking a bigger problem that I’d rather not discuss?
If I tell you things are hectic or ridiculous at work, does that mean I’m struggling with my job, or that I’m in my glory as an organizer and producer?
It’s not just interpersonal communication either – language affects how we do business. [Read more…]