Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Misunderstood Words

On a recent flight, the annoying teenage girl in front of me was looking at the safety information card that can be found in the seat pocket in front of you.  I glanced at it and saw what I thought were special instructions for a "Tall Exit."  At once amused and outraged, I pulled out my own card and looked at it again.  Then I snapped a picture of it, thinking, Wow, so now tall people can't even escape from a plane the normal way?

It wasn't until I put my camera away that I noticed it actually said, "Tail Exit."

That's why I love the written word.  You can read something over and over again and it may not be until the third time that you finally get it.  When it's written down, you have time to mull it over to make sure you're understanding the message, which you don't always have a chance to do with spoken conversations.  That's also why I never liked text messages.  There's still plenty of opportunity for misunderstanding, but the immediacy encourages you not to think about things first.  Then of course you have the results of the miscommunication right there in front of you to read over again.  And again.

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