Sometimes Darren and I have the most bizarre conversations where we just completely miss the context of what each other is saying. Or, to be more correct, I miss the context of what he’s saying. It has something to do with the way we think.
In fact, stopping to properly think about it, it has everything to do with the way I was taught to speak. You see, I had a pretty awful speech impediment as a kid, and so before I started primary school I had to do several months worth of speech therapy. My primary recollection of that was sitting on a bed of an evening and going through one flash card after another, with both the object, and the word printed on the card. A drawing of a cat, and the word ‘cat’. A drawing of a box, and the word ‘box’, etc.
Where Darren and I have contextual issues is where he says something to me – maybe talking about someone – and I don’t link it to what we may have only just 5 minutes before been talking about, because I’ve gone on a slight tangent. The best way to explain it is to imagine you know two guys called Steve – but one is Steven, and the other is Stephen.
And so, the sequence starts with us talking about the same Steve – short for Steven, maybe, but there’ll be a brief pause or gap in the conversation, and I’ll for some reason think of Stephen, instead. Darren will then say something else about Steve, but because I’ve pictured Steve = Stephen in my head, what he’s saying no longer makes sense for Steve = Steven, and so I’ve lost the context, and the conversation goes off the rails.
It’s totally bizarre. And it can happen sometimes multiple times in a day.
But never in electronic communication. Only when there’s actual speaking going on. I guess that’s further proof that it’s influenced by the speech therapy. When I’m having an IM, SMS or email conversation with someone, I’m not speaking, so I’m not picturing words. Therefore I can’t picture the wrong words. The words out of context.
All because in my mind, I’m picturing a different spelling of the word he’s saying and therefore what he’s saying doesn’t compute. Like last night, I lost context over someone saying “cheap” and me hearing “cheep”. No pronunciation difference whatsoever – just me immediately picturing the alternate word in my head.
Yes, I’m odd.