Tuesday, June 8, 2004

How Many Ways Can We Miscommunicate?

I was on the road today, pondering my relationships. Although, I suppose "pondering" might be an understatement. "Stewing" or maybe "mental auto-flagellation" would be more apropriate.

I have a long and colorful history of miscommunication, acommunication, outright discommunication, noncommunication and anti-communication with a number of unfortunates, but the stand-out victim/instigater is, hands down, No Labels. True, New York and I had quite the epic trainwreck, but I felt that on one level, we were having communion, and the fact that he talked funny, perhaps made me speak more clearly, less obscurely. Like two foreign exchange students stumbling around in English, I never assumed we were both speaking Californian. With Seattle, we had a common religious heritage and a lot of shared experience, old inside jokes and a friendly relationship that stretched nearly a decade. In spite of that bad ending, I still have mostly fond memories of the words ebbing and flowing between us, over pillows and sheets, over the phone and the keyboard.

The crazy thing about NL, is that we always seemed to be using the same language. We grew up in similar social strata, 40 miles apart. We were educated within a few years at neighboring institutions. We even shared a roof. I find it mystifying and amusing at the same time. Professor Higgins is all wrong. Geography has nothing to do with it. I don't know what the hang-up is (its not just gender, dialect, age (I know plenty of boys of his vintage I can speak with) or idiom... what else could it be?). Personality? (Seattle is an INTP, too). Study? (I communicated too well with the Green Eyed Swimmer... who was also a Boethius-loving philosphy student).

It is always too late when I realized that I missed an important inflection (or meaning). This morning (which morning?) we were chatting on the IM, and he said "why good morning" I thought he was posing a question, and after quite a bit back-and-forth, I realized he meant "why good morning." In retrospect, its quite funny (like the old "whose on first" routine).

So just for fun, here is a list of the media we have miscommunicated over: the phone, the IM, face to face, e-mail, the post, physically, through third parties, telepathically (ok, that is a stretch)...

I am eagerly anticipating the next acommunique. Though, don't get me wrong (you prolly already have), I am not complaining, I am just noticing. To be forearmed, is to be foreknowledged. Or something. :P

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