The Oral Report

Standing up in front of the class was never so much fun!

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Location: River City, United States

The rantings and ravings of a mom of three wonderful girls as she finds new love while working like a dog and shaking her fist at the system. You know. Pretty much like everybody else.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

What We Have Here a failure to communicate.

Communication is a most delicate art. It goes far beyond 'potato' and 'potato'. Or, wait. Perhaps, that illustrates my point rather succinctly. They look exactly the same written. How the HELL are people supposed to figure this stuff out?

Maybe you guys can help me out, though. I've recently had some communications issues with a couple of folks. If I give you a multiple choice (and somewhere, even as I type this, I can see someone copying this format to mock me...oh well, as Nate says, 'originality is for suckers'...and these folks certainly are not original), would you help me see where the communication errors may be?


"If we didn't read each other's stuff wouldn't it be it's own answer."

Which phrase below best captures the intended meaning of the one above...

(A) "In the event that the parties involved, freely elected to avoid reading items written by each other, the problem would be solved."

(B) "I'm saying I will read his and I hope he reads mine. I won't start anything but if something offensive is said I will react. If we both accept that we can poke at each other mutually we will have an understanding."

Did you select (A)? I did, too. But, we're wrong. The correct answer, apparently, is (B). I got confused by the whole "didn't read each other's stuff" part. I never guessed it meant "read each other's stuff". Did that confuse you, too? No, huh. Well, a lot of you are far more educated than I am. I'll give you that one. But, how about this one...

"I can tell you that THIS address is not Highlander's email address, nor am I his secretary, mother, warden, complaint department, or babysitter."

Okay, again, which answer below best matches the intended meaning of the one above...

(A) "It seems odd that your his email spokesperson."

(B) "Issues with Highlander, should be taken up with Highlander."

::peeking at the paper to my left:: What'd you get for that one? I put (B). You put (A)? How could you possibly get (A)? I mean, I overlooked the whole "your"/"you're" thing and still got (B). Dammit. Let me try one more. I mean, I gotta get one of these right, huh?

"Baron's ex is just plain being nasty. Even HER significant other is nasty."

Again, which answer below is the logical response to the passage above?

(A) "She didn't call Baron's ex nasty, she called her significant other nasty."

(B) "She called BOTH Baron's ex and her significant other nasty."

Damn. That's one's tough. I'm going with (B) again. (A)? Are you sure? It just doesn't seem right that I'm not getting ANY of them correct! I mean, I'm smart and everything!

"I won't read your stuff anymore, or comment. You have a right to a private place to vent."

One more time, gang. Which one below matches with the one above?

(A) "I won't read your stuff anymore, or comment. You have a right to a private place to vent."

(B) "I can disregard your private place to vent any time I so choose. In fact, I can do it 4, 6, 8 times a day if I want."

Hmmm, I pick none of the above. (B) clearly isn't, but (A) seems like some kind of trick answer or something. I have to pick one? Well, if I gotta, it's gonna be (A). ::sigh:: Wrong again.

0 for 4. Egads! Is it any wonder I fail so utterly at this communication stuff? How many did you guys get right? If you did better than I did, can you help me out a little? Maybe you can explain where I went wrong in my logic. Thanks! I really appreciate it! 'Cause I'm frustrated as shit!


Blogger Highlander said...


Gee, I'm glad I stay on your good side.

8/15/2006 11:42 AM  
Blogger MJ Norton said...

This could be connected with the idea that the more advanced one's degree the more of a right one has to change the meaning of anything to suit one's self. With great authority comes great privileges!

Think of it like those presidential signing statements, where one gets to sign something and then write over it and change the meaning. Maybe your mistake is in not asking for a final copy of the modified text?

8/16/2006 9:00 AM  
Blogger SuperFiancee said...

H -

It's not as hard as some people would lead you to believe.

Mike -

I can't tell you how aggravating it is to have someone tell you something, you confirm back (because the history of confusion and miscommunication is well-established) and they say, "No. No. This is what I meant. This other completely different thing." It's maddening.

Not sure about the advanced degree factor. Could least in one case. Could be advanced age in the other.

As for getting the final copy of the modified text, I've tried. Even when you DO have it, it's akin to confederate money. Not worth the paper it's printed on, other than for the nostalgia.

8/16/2006 10:11 AM  
Blogger AaA said...

0 for 4 here. Sorry, apparently your friends are all low-grade dimbulbs.

Or, possibly... hmmm... no, it couldn't be that, naaahhhh. Perhaps, maybe, this putative 'person' you're communicating with, has an entirely unrealistic sense of their importance and the amount of ass-kissing owed to them by the rest of the human race?

Would that it were an option to simply cut off all contact...

8/17/2006 4:56 AM  
Blogger Opus P. Penguin said...

I think everyone's English teacher needs to be shot.

8/17/2006 11:06 AM  

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