posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 02:24 PM
Aye-yi-yi, you've all been busy ... Could I have something strong please? my drive home was abnormally long and unnecessarily complicated. First,
there are the two normal on-ramps to the highway I use that are both shut thanks to road destruction and then the new IKEA was opening today, so the
traffic cops wouldn't let me on at my third choice of on-ramp ... so I wound up taking the scenic tour of parts of the city I normally avoid. Then, I
was almost home and had to stop and rescue a turtle from out of the middle of the road. And then, nothing would do, but that I had to give the poor
fellow a ride to the nearest open field. You know how turtles are - completely inoffensive to everyone and too many people are all too willing to run
over them for no other reason than that they can.
On to the subject of communication. It actually touches more on my previous job with kids who had learning disabilities. We also worked with kids who
had comprehension issues. They interpreted everything literally. I worked with one girl who would read a story problem that told her that the tomato
plants grew 8' above the ground, and that's really what she was thinking - the plants were indeed hovering 8' in mid-air. Another kid we had read a
story about a girl named Dot and was picturing the Wal-Mart dot in her head.
What I'm getting to here is that language is entirely symbolic. The sounds (or gestures) we use when we communicate have been pretty much arbitrarily
assigned to represent certain concepts. And over time, we attach pretty complicated mental imagery to them that can include visual, auditory, scent,
etc., ... all kinds of sensory and emotional references to complete our understanding of the concepts those things represent.
So, when I type "chair," my mind is supplying me with a wealth of images that go with it giving that word its meaning and connotation. When any one
of you read it, your minds will do that same. The thing is that no one of us will have exactly the same images or connotations to go with the word.
And when we make it more complex by adding words on top words into sentences and paragraphs ... my mind will always layer unique shades of meaning
just like yours will and my mind will always construct images that are going to be unique when compared to any of yours.
Most of the time, this won't matter too much, but every so often, there will be issues where it will make a big difference. Where word choice brings
out bad emotion due to connotation, say, or where differing linguistic backgrounds create misunderstanding.