Interpreting Words

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March 26, 2013 by dontbringlulubook

Interpretation

Interpretation

Miscommunication is often the fault – and sometimes rightly so – for many issues in relationships, friendships and work situations.  People think they are explaining themselves ever so clearly yet to the recipient, who perhaps is approaching the subject from a different angle, their interpretation is at complete odds with what is trying to be communicated.  So how do we best explain ourselves clearly so there is no margin for error?

In soap land, and often in fictional novels, the misinterpretation of certain situations are used as the premise upon which an entire storyline can be based – someone thinks their husband or wife is having an affair as a result of incorrect information either read or overheard and as a result all hell breaks loose before the truth is discovered and a resolution is reached.

With texting fast becoming one of the main methods of communication (how often have you chosen to text somebody rather than actually pick up the phone to call them?) and with over 1 billion text messages sent every week in the UK, the possibility of messages being misunderstood is far greater than if the message – especially if it is of a delicate nature – being communicated either face to face or by actually speaking to the other person involved.

Texting is often used as a method to avoid certain situations; needing to cancel a date or appointment at the last minute; express sympathy or concern but feeling there’s no time for a conversation or even ending a relationship  (if cowardice is the only option).  Yet without hearing the inflections and tone behind what it is the other person is trying to say the margin for things to go wrong and be incorrectly interpreted is far wider. Novels that date back centuries use the plot of miscommunication to be the reason behind love affairs starting and finishing; friendships being tested to the limit and family secrets being uncovered.

As a TV reporter, Ron Onions, whose story and that of his youngest daughter, Lulu’s, is told in the autobiographical book “Don’t Bring Lulu”, understood the need for truth being shown to the public when covering such momentous events as the moon landing and the assignation of Martin Luther King – the beauty and complexity of language means that explanations can be as simple or as convoluted as we make them.

But sometimes, it’s the making them complicated that brings about such fabulous stories.

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