Choice of words are not the only reason why people are misunderstood. Words are misconstrued when a person can not hear the words because of a physical deficit or because the speaker is garbling the words by not speaking clearly.

Everyone (I would think) has spoken with a person who does not speak clearly, and the message has been, at the least, not fully understood. I know that speech is quite different from the written word, but  to be a conversationalist, one must speak clearly and articulate the words to form the message one wants to deliver. When people mutter in a low voice, they could be saying something of importance, but they will never get the point across because people do not hear the message. Now tie that to the receiver of the message who doesn’t quite hear every word, and you may produce a volatile situation.

Most people know at least someone who has a hearing deficit, and whether if they are patient with that person or not, the person with the hearing deficit will always not hear every word and the message will be misunderstood. That is a given when there is not a hearing aid used.

For example, I recently watched “The Patriot” with Mel Gibson. There was one scene that was classic — Mel Gibson’s son wants to “see” one man’s daughter, and he goes to the the man and asks, “I’ve come to call on Ann.” The man, who is portrayed with a hearing loss by using a funneled ear piece, puts the hearing aid to his ear, and replies, “Of course you call yourself a man.”

Completely different meaning! But, I understand how the sounds were confused, and that mix up gave a new meaning to those words. I’m sure those words were explained because the young man married Ann; but, what would have happened if he was not able to explain his words? What would have happened if Ann’s father would have heard, “you’re not a man” instead of “call myself a man”? Where would that line have led? It may have been the end of the scene, or one that ended with a fight.


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