Words mean things … different things to diffident people

January 23, 2012

in Communication, Seeing Clearly, Understanding Her

Deer = © Jiří Andreas | Dreamstime.com Shoe = © Igor Terekhov | Dreamstime.com

We all speak different dialects. We use the same words, but we don’t define those words exactly the same way. The differences in what words mean to us are a result of our family of origin, our culture, our gender, education, media, and many other things. This is especially a problem in a language like English, which mixes and matches words from virtually every language known to man, makes up words, has a lot of jargon, and has a great many colloquialisms and figures of speech. Being cool is good, being cold is bad, bad might be good, sick can mean great, and Bob’s your uncle.

These dialects can become a problem in marriage – especially if either spouse fails to accept that each dialect is valid. If either of you declare your definitions to be right, and your spouse’s to be wrong, that creates a huge problem. Expecting someone to completely rewrite his or her dialect is unfair, unkind, and deeply selfish.

First, work together to learn where your dialects differ. Then, find out what each of you means by words or phrases that you don’t define the same way. In time, you will learn to understand like a native speaker of your spouse’s dialect, but until that time, you would do well to verify if you have any doubt.

Long term, you will likely develop a dialect for your marriage and family. This is a normal part of living together, picking up bits and pieces of life and giving them special meaning. Salt becomes “slat” because someone misspelled in in a recipe. “Being Og” mean you are going to start a fire, and yelling “Ox” means it’s dinner time. Certain innocent words take on sexual meanings that let you flirt in front of the kids, and things the kids said wrong as babies become a part of the family dialect. Have fun with words, and form your own private language. 

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1 comments
Ric C
Ric C

Ha Ha!! Funny post! We used to speak a foreign language in front of the kids for adults' subjects until the day we realised that they were older... Just to add to the fun is that the man could share his tongue with his wife but the message could be understood differently...

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