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Implied Meaning, Rather Than Explicit Expression

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posted on Mar, 29 2015 @ 09:18 PM
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So, here's something I come across a lot, both in posting and in real life. I have some sort of point I want to make. Could be my own point, could be in response to someone else's point. Either way, I'll have a way of saying it that I like, that is subtle, but expresses the point very well. But then I'll realize, technically I'm not explicitly saying my point at all. The whole thing is in what I'm implying but not directly saying. Which that subtlety is the whole reason I liked it. And usually, to me I am being very clear. My meaning is pretty clearly expressed, if you just think about it. And on forums, I'll be like, maybe I should be more explicit, to make sure as many people as possible understand. But then when I make it explicit, all that was good about my post is lost. It sounds mechanical, it's just bare-bones and explanatory and loses its sense of being creative expression.

But, people will commonly misunderstand what you're saying if you speak in this way. Sometimes my statements of this sort are sarcastic, so people might think I'm saying the opposite of what I'm saying. And in person it's difficult, because the very act of further explaining seems condescending, but you have to look at them and do a calculation lol like do they seem to actually get what you're saying, because the thing is sometimes people don't. So do you just move on and pretend meaning was exchanged? Anyways, wonder about others dealing with this issue of implied meaning vs. explicit expression, and thoughts about it.
edit on 29-3-2015 by TheJourney because: (no reason given)

edit on 29-3-2015 by TheJourney because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 29 2015 @ 09:43 PM
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That's a pointy subject. Do you get my point? I'm kidding. I'm not trying to be a smart ass or pick on you. I know what you mean. I think it has to do with the difference of hearing somebody say something and reading what somebody else writes, the tone of voice (which if heard would let people know that you're being clever or whatever) is missing, for instance. That is if I get your meaning right. Then again, I can say something (vocally) and it goes over people's heads.
If that happens, I just shrug is off because usually I'm making a joke and they didn't get it. Explaining takes the fun out of it and makes the joke less funny. I have an off-beat sense of humor and realize not everyone gets me.



posted on Mar, 29 2015 @ 09:51 PM
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I feel like the more effort I put into my posts, the more it comes back to bite me. People just want the facts and are not much interested in anyone's character.

That small town feeling on ATS has disappeared and the effort put into threads lately is pathetic. Just say it how you want to and don't sweat about who's head it goes over.

I think the more you hang around the same crowd you start to understand their implied meanings than you would a complete stranger's. Don't change who you are in order to change others, it's not worth it.

If I'm understanding you correctly, I know how you feel.



posted on Mar, 29 2015 @ 09:58 PM
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a reply to: TheJourney

A lot of my posts, texts, and emails are like that. I joke around A LOT and use all kinds of facial expressions, pitch changes, and hand movements when I speak (and lame puns). But I can't properly convey it in writing. So a lot of times my words seem harsher than I mean them.

With that said, you might want to think about why you're writing specific posts. If you mean them as jokes or puns, maybe add an emotive so people can see there's a 2nd meaning. Something a wise woman once told me is "It's only obvious if you make it obvious. Otherwise I will misunderstand you."



posted on Mar, 29 2015 @ 10:02 PM
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a reply to: TheJourney

If you are in doubt about conveying meaning in something you write, you might follow the words of President Harry S. Truman on how he wrote his speeches.

"You tell them what you are going to tell them. You tell them. Then you tell them what you told them."

Of course, as you can see, Harry was a plain talkin' guy so few would miss his intent.
edit on 29-3-2015 by Aliensun because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 29 2015 @ 10:10 PM
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a reply to: TheJourney

I delete more than half of what I write and I still manage to miscommunicate.



posted on Mar, 29 2015 @ 10:30 PM
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I can have a somewhat obtuse sense of humor.
Sometimes it doesn't communicate properly in the format of typed words in an internet forum.



posted on Mar, 29 2015 @ 10:50 PM
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originally posted by: TheJourney
So, here's something I come across a lot, both in posting and in real life. I have some sort of point I want to make. Could be my own point, could be in response to someone else's point. Either way, I'll have a way of saying it that I like, that is subtle, but expresses the point very well. But then I'll realize, technically I'm not explicitly saying my point at all. The whole thing is in what I'm implying but not directly saying. Which that subtlety is the whole reason I liked it. And usually, to me I am being very clear.


One of my biggest problems in life.
When I feel more humble I realize I am being vague.
When I'm feeling on my game, I think other's are dumb..

I realize I have issues.



I want to be more fair and more subtle... Good luck for me hahahahahahahaaaa...



posted on Mar, 29 2015 @ 11:44 PM
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a reply to: TheJourney

Dude, get out of my head.



posted on Mar, 30 2015 @ 01:52 AM
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I think you can change the implied meaning of what you write quite easily. For instance:

You're such an idiot!


You're such an idiot.


Emoticons act like facial expressions in place of the real thing, if you don't use them nobody can read you.



posted on Mar, 30 2015 @ 05:08 AM
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Aha! One of my favorite subjects!

I struggle with this on a daily basis, and it causes me much frustration and problems.
I never really realized how much our american culture puts emphasis on explicitness - or rather, I never dreamed anyone could enjoy or value implicitness, until I moved to France.

Perhaps it was my upbringing, existentialism and psychoanalysis the undercurrent, being implicit was considered probably the worst sin possible.

Now I face peoples that dote on the "art of subtility" and find explicitness aggressive, violent, anti-social. My frank and direct succint way of interaction shocks and repulses people quickly.

In my case, I have to either adapt, or accept to be a very isolated individual (which, after more than 10 years, I had had enough of). So I observe this art, and try to learn it, but there is obstacles that seem too big.

The key to this type of communication, and the value in it, is that it is like a secret language, that can only be used and understood by people with a shared background, experiences, memories, and values. It creates a familiar bonding between them, and distinguishes them from "others".

It gives a way for a group of people who have this same background to share a perception of the other as being "stupid" when they don't get the meaning - which feeds the "we're superior to them" collective confidence.

I describe the experience in France, but have run into the same thing in America. Those little sayings that are meant to vehicle concepts that otherwise would take three times as many words, can only be understood by those who get all the connotations involved...and the connotations carry values (whether the thing is "good" or "bad"), and all sorts of emotional associations.

Being implicit is a short cut in communication, and is useful for stimulating shared emotional states. Humor is usually dependent on implicity.

One thing I can give to the french, is that they have figured out that by being implicit, criticism can be communicated in a way that stimulates humor at the same time - like mixing medicine with sugar, it facilitates harsh messages to be received.

I try to use it here, but always seem to be a bit off key, because I can't play on the same memories. I'm proud as heck when I get some off at work and they work! Here it is like a game- sarcastic and ironic statements going back and forth which get some frustrations and conflicts out, but keep them laughing through it.

When I first got here, it just seemed aggressive and cruel, and I would feel hurt and offended. For me, showing a minimum of respect to someone is speaking to them very explicitly- to me that is honesty, not playing games with their emotions.

It is so ironic that for them, being explicit is exactly the opposite - having no respect for their feelings, not even bothering to add a little sugar, for the sake of preserving social bonds in the group.

For the most part, the average person here, (in a rural low education area) they are not at all aware that a foreigner cannot use their secret code, if she wanted to! They've never been far from their origins and assume their experiences, associations, and values are universal. This makes for a frustrating gulf between them and I.



posted on Mar, 30 2015 @ 05:12 AM
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a reply to: TheJourney

The difficulty with textual communication, is that even when a person communicates using the same words they would use in person, there exists the possibility that the absence of subtle nuances which would ordinarily be added to the communication by non-verbal cues in a face to face forum, will lessen the overall clarity of the point being made. Further to that, in a forum like this, where certain standards of manners and decorum are supposed to be upheld, ones natural parlance is augmented, or sometimes denuded of its impact, by way of not being able to use certain words or phrases, for fear of running afoul of the rules.

Therefore, it is necessary for persons interacting using this website, to use as much of the allowable language as possible, to extend their vocabulary to a sufficient degree, that they might fill the gaps left by the absence of access to non-verbal/non-textual communication channels, and indeed the limitations placed on the outer limits of their expression by the Terms and Conditions.

I have, in times past, been accused of being overly verbose, when it comes to my communications on this website, but that is precisely because I wish to be understood as clearly as possible, and therefore use a greater breadth of the English language, to ensure that whatever point I have made, is made in an unambiguous manner, and cannot be easily misunderstood. This can however, have the opposite effect. Sometimes certain grammatical structures, though valid from the point of view of an author, or as a study in English language, can be misread, and sometimes the English comprehension capacity of the reader is too limited to make such communications effective.

However, I very rarely come across a member here, who finds it impossible to read and understand my posts, which is largely down to the fact that this membership, for all that it contains some of the craziest people on the planet (in the very best possible way of course), is titanic in its intellectual capacity, by and large.

Of course, implied meaning is very useful when one is being poetic, or sarcastic, but sarcasm can be difficult to identify in a forum setting, unless the expression of it is particularly well crafted, with the limitations of the written word being considered by the author, and accounted for grammatically and linguistically, before posting!


edit on 30-3-2015 by TrueBrit because: Grammatical improvements.



posted on Mar, 30 2015 @ 05:27 AM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

As a fellow verbiose, I have always appreciated your attempts at being clear. I prefer a long and wordy explicit expression than a short one in which I have to ask "what do you mean by that?" over and over, to avoid assuming false intents and meanings.



posted on Mar, 30 2015 @ 06:56 AM
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When I was in America, l found it weird that you'd make a joke and Americans would say "you're so funny," when actually laughing would have sufficed. Weird.



posted on Mar, 30 2015 @ 07:33 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma

I find myself in complete agreement with your sentiments, regards the requirement to request clarification from participants in a thread, as to exactly what they mean by what they have written. I suppose it is similar to measuring twice, and cutting once, in some respects. If a post is thought out well, and the message contained within, presented in a clear fashion, leaving no room for misinterpretation, then that benefits both the author of the post, and the reader of the post, in equal measure, and allows for better, more effective discussion as a result.

The natures of the topics covered here at ATS, are often of such gravity and are so detail oriented, that effective communication of a point of view is second only to the ability to FORM a point of view on the subject discussed in the first place! I am glad that this is generally well understood amongst members for the most part!



posted on Mar, 30 2015 @ 10:51 AM
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originally posted by: Scallywwagg
When I was in America, l found it weird that you'd make a joke and Americans would say "you're so funny," when actually laughing would have sufficed. Weird.


Maybe we were being sarcastic & you didn't notice



posted on Mar, 30 2015 @ 02:01 PM
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originally posted by: enlightenedservant

originally posted by: Scallywwagg
When I was in America, l found it weird that you'd make a joke and Americans would say "you're so funny," when actually laughing would have sufficed. Weird.


Maybe we were being sarcastic & you didn't notice


Ah, you told him/her... I didn't want to be the one....


The joke probably didn't work so well in their culture. Being able to tell a joke in another land and really have it work out is a formidable feat.



posted on Mar, 30 2015 @ 02:07 PM
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I've had people get angrier and angrier at me because I took my time to try to very, very carefully explain just exactly what I was thinking, and then when the response challenged me with "I'd like to see that!," I treated it seriously and dug up research, polls and links and only made the other person that much madder.



posted on Mar, 30 2015 @ 02:52 PM
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Something else about being implicit- it can be a way of being creative with language.
Yet, because it relies upon collectively held values and concepts, it is like saying the same old things, in a different way.

Creativity with ideas leaves this sort of communication ineffective. Once it leaves the worn and beaten paths of the norm, use of implicity can actually be an obstacle to communication, leading the listener automatically into habitual thought patterns.


edit on 30-3-2015 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 04:02 AM
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originally posted by: Scallywwagg
When I was in America, l found it weird that you'd make a joke and Americans would say "you're so funny," when actually laughing would have sufficed. Weird.


Maybe you were not funny..
It's an often underlooked value of Americans that we are nice.



To be truthful, I never understand french humor.. I almost do, but there's no punchline.

It's pretty crazy we are all talking thousands of miles away and all pressing random buttons out of over a 100 and getting precise meaning out of this at all...
edit on 1-4-2015 by KnightLight because: (no reason given)



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