December 04, 2008

Writing What You Mean - Reading What Was Written

When I write a blog comment, an email, or a letter or written communication, I spend a lot of time writing, editing, modifying the words that I've used to ensure that they get across the intent that I meant. I saw a video today saying there are 540,000 words in the English language, 10x more than were available to the language in the time of Shakespeare. Don't get me wrong, I'm no Shakespeare, and I'm lucky if I know 5% of the entire English language, but at the same time, I like to think that I am fairly well versed in how to write down my thoughts in accurate terms.

The problem comes when people read what I write. They read my emails and my blog postings, but the words that they are reading are not my own. No, instead, I find that people read what they want or expect to hear. They ignore my carefully chosen phrases and the innuendo of my chosen words. Differences in syntax and word choices are lost in their own intentions.

I'm probably the same way. I most likely read what others have written in terms of what I believe they should be saying. As I sit here blogging about it, I am thinking about researching possible ways for changing that, so that I can become a better listener and a better reader.

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