The Spoken Word Misheard

“It’s not what you said” its how you said it” who hasn’t heard that old idiom before? Unfortunately, words are not always delivered the way it was intended by the sender. Sometimes it’s a simple mistake & sometimes it isn’t; revealing the persons true feelings on a matter or even shading some light deeper into how that person thinks. Semantics and syntax or structure and meaning are things everyone growing up as a child learns in their own mother tongue through observation and formal school training. Saying one thing while meaning another is also a useful skill attained.

Some unfortunately use this skill to lie, I personally don’t advocate lying as a needed skill, but I do believe that being tactful or choosing your words carefully is a needed skill.

Colloquialism is a form of neologism were humans invent or “coin” new words and phrases all the time. The phrase “it’s all good” is a popular saying, or the words like “mybad” have migrated from the streets to the corporate board room. Words will continue to evolve. Although, I do have my particular reservations on why urban colloquialisms receive more credit usage than real words? To me, for some, it’s a seemingly disingenuous way of insulting the urban community, it sort of reminds me of when I was in grade school and learned about famous black american inventors. The only black invention that I saw really emphasized on, was that of George Washington Carver’s peanut butter. Not taking anything away from peanut butter or Carver’s many other contributions it seems to me that when a kid is learning about inventions and hears that a black man’s star invention is peanut butter the child could form the conclusion that anyone could have made peanut butter, “so, whats the big deal?” Why not emphasize Alexander Miles “automatic elevator doors” or Garrett Morgans “traffic light”, or the countless other black inventors inventions. But of course that’s just my opinion and I don’t believe everyone using “ebonics” are designing bias structures, but some are.

How words are structured and how you use them can give clear focus to your meaning. Using colloquial slang words or phrases in our everyday communication is fun and needed sometimes if you ask me, but it should never be reversed engineered into an adjective to insult a race of people as I have seen it used many times before. Language can be very experimental and learning will never end, I think if we remember that, communication will never end.


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