“That is what I meant.”

I am pretty sure I have blogged on this in the past.  I spent a bit of time trying to get the following post to read the same as I felt on the subject of my pedantry.  Then at the end I was going to provide a number of links to support my position/viewpoint.

After reading the links I decided to post them first.  I love how the Urban dictionary link really blows me out of the water.

Some interesting/fun links:

http://www.fun-with-words.com/ambiguous_garden_path.html

http://www.tek-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=1173263

I searched for “pedantic communication” on google and all I got was a bunch of links to Autism and Aspergers.

DAMNIT!! http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=pedantic

Now, back to the original post. To which you can now read and shake your head at me in that “Yup.  Exactly.” kind of way.

If this really is tl;dr material, what I really want you, the reader, to get out of this post is that I am not pedantic because I want to frustrate you in any way.  I honestly care about what you are trying to say and want to make sure I grasp the exact meaning of your words.

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Recently Kay and I were chatting online.  Because of perchance for pedantry I corrected something she typed. Her response was “Right, that is what I meant.”  To which she added ‘I say that to you more than “I love you”‘.

It was a very friendly exchange. We did not get mad during it, which is not always the case based on past intercourse.

What made this conversation interesting is “That is what I meant.” But when a type-A engineering personality hears something, asks a question, and gets the response “that is what I meant” we shake our heads with that sad and somewhat condescending look in our eyes.  (Which while the condescension is not on purpose, often does escalate “what I meant” to “WHAT I MEANT TO SAY WAS @#[email protected] @#[email protected][email protected]!!!!”)

See, what you (not just my wife, but all of you)  say/type and what you meant to convey with your communications are not guaranteed to be one and the same.  And it is NOT YOUR FAULT!!  See, I am involved in the other side of this conversation.  I honestly CARE about what you are trying to say. And if there is a chance that I could have misunderstood your words then I am going to ask for clarification.  I am not questioning you to piss you off, hear myself talk, or show off my better than average grasp of the English language.

Yeah, Jay, but what I said was totally obvious.  No.  No, No, No, NO, NO!!!  You said it. You are the originator of the words.  I am not in your head.  Even though we share a race, culture, and whatever other relationship, I cannot read your mind.  My brain could have just come from a different context.  I do not have all the backstory in my mind that yours has.  You get the picture.  Or you don’t, at which point you get exasperated with me for covering the same ground three different ways.

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One Response to “That is what I meant.”

  1. Chris says:

    I totally cant stand it when people are ambigious. I mean, just say what you mean! So, uh, could you explain what you meant in this blog? I didnt quite get where you were going with it. 😉

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