Does the Message Match the Meaning?

Anyone who has read Eats, Shoots and Leavesknows the perils of punctuation. Punctuation – or the correct use of – is of paramount importance in written language. It is less so in the spoken word of today, where words are formed based on the ease they roll off the tongue. For example, “Refridgerator” becomes “fridgerator” and “got to” becomes “gotta” and so on…

But without the written word, why do we have difficulty getting our messages across? For one thing, we are speaking, but what we say may be entirely different from what someone hears.

“How have you been getting along?” can be perceived as incredulous disbelief of survival, personal, financial or otherwise. Years ago, I asked my sister that question, and I could tell by the palpable silence over the phone that the way she perceived the question was other than how it was intended. Time to back-pedal and explain that I didn’t mean to offend. I was asking how she was doing.

Two or three times, I have had someone who’s trying to sell me on his service say, “Well if you can’t afford X amount, then you need all the business you can get.” There’s nothing wrong with that statement, and it may be factually true. However, the way I perceived it was that the salesman was telling me that he didn’t value my business, and that he was interested only in making the sale. Those salesmen just didn’t “get it,” and when The Relationship Economy begins to hit Critical Mass, they will be left out in the cold, playing catch up.

How ’bout it?

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Explore posts in the same categories: grammar, networking, relationship economy, The Communications Factors

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One Comment on “Does the Message Match the Meaning?”

  1. Idetrorce Says:

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you
    Idetrorce


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