Friday, May 23, 2014

“Wait. What did you just say?”

“I’m Lesbian…See you soon”

No this isn’t another lame attempt at publicizing a ‘coming out’….instead, those were the exact words a friend of mine texted me a few weeks ago as I was headed to meet him for an early morning run. Another text quickly followed…

“Stupid auto correct…I’m Leaving not lesbian” 

I won’t say what I texted back to him but it was hilarious (or at least I thought so)…if you’re really curious, go ahead and contact the NSA for all the details. 

The thought occurred to me that in this modern day of so many ways to communicate
keep in touch, stay informed, follow the latest trends, share opinions, be heard,
join the conversation, stand out, gain followers, get ‘likes’, promote your agenda or just waste a lot time…. We still get things wrong. All of us. Intentionally or unintentionally. 

We quote inaccurate facts, share so-called ‘true’ stories and gossip, make inferences based on others communications, misuse words, fail to proofread texts, emails, tweets, posts. And we’ve all had the frustration of having our computer or phone try and ‘correct’ words we’re trying to use…. all leading to miscommunication while trying to communicate.  

Not trying to wax all philosophical on you, but its interesting how just one word can quickly change the meaning of something. I wanted to post some of my personal favorite experiences of misused words.

College Promiscuity
In college I worked on the student newspaper with a super nice girl named Debra who was also involved in student government. She was very kind, professional and well mannered. We were good friends but that was it. One day she called me on the phone and very nervously said… “I don’t mean to be promiscuous…but will you go to the dance with me next Saturday?” 

Wait. What? Promiscuous? Wow! 

Did I mention she was nervous? She was so nervous I don’t think she even realized what she had said…(or did she?)

“Presumptuous. I think you meant presumptuous.” I said.

We did go to the dance and had a great time. And just for the record nothing promiscuous happened. I did rip the seat of my tuxedo (that the school had rented for me) while helping prepare for the dance. But it was just an accident…or was it? 
That’s also how I first met my future mother-in-law, but that’s another story.

Flatulent Competition
A few years ago a coworker came into my office. Lamenting over the tendency for corporate tight-wadded-ness despite company profitability, he said “We probably won’t even get a pay raise to keep up with flatulation…” 

What? Did he just say flatulation? Like flatulence? Like…. 
There’ll be no keeping up with that in my office thank you very much!

I busted up laughing and said, “You mean inflation?”  To be fair he’s a native Spanish speaker but I laughed regardless. Who wants to worry about keeping up with flatulation? Not me. 

Loose Grandmas
And lastly my personal favorite…It was my Mom’s birthday and we were heading to my parents home to hangout with the fam and celebrate. I asked the kids if they wanted to make a b-day card for Grandma. They each went to work. My youngest son drew the cutest picture of himself on a big trampoline (since we don’t have one and it’s a huge source of fun at Grandmas). He asked me how to spell ‘trampoline’ but one of his siblings helped him with the word. He was so excited to give my mom the card he’d done for her. I didn’t read the card 'til right before we gave it to my mom. In bold crayon written letters on the front it said, “Happy Birthday Tramp” Everyone laughed and loved it!

Do we really mean what we say?  And does what we say mean what we think it means? 
Choose your words wisely kids or auto-correct (or someone else) will do it for you. 

That’s it for today. I’m lesbian now...I meant 'leaving' now.

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