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Thread: People misunderstanding what you write online

  1. #1

    Default People misunderstanding what you write online

    Does this happen to anyone else? I have heard it's very common. I wonder if I may be taking it all too personal because it happens to me all the time it feels like. Does it happen to anyone else all the time?

    All over the place, people keep misunderstanding me. They don't seem to read everything I say or read my posts right. They also seem to only focus on what they want to read and ignore the rest. They even say I contradict myself and I think I am either surrounded by idiots or my communication is that poor. Plus they seem to be so black and white and can't see the obvious. Okay if I were to say I forget to eat. Then I say in another post I love sweets. Someone out there will bound to see it as a contradiction and wonder which is it. That is what I deal with online.

    I have a hard time understanding how people can read my post and not see it my way or interpret it the way I wrote it. Sometimes I think they must be doing it on purpose or they are that stupid and they can't even read. But I do get defensive and snarky sometimes about it because I get so fed up with it. I even hold in the insults. That is how frustrated I get. I even feel I am going to meltdown and I just want to scream and throw the computer. I sometimes find myself talking out loud to myself as I type angrily. But in my head I am screaming insults at them except I leave them out when I make the post so it's like an edited version of it.


    But since it's easier to misunderstand people online, I wonder if anyone else has this same problem online and how often?

  2. #2

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    I am kind of an ancious person, so many times, I just read rapidly something, for example, in a topic the person was asking:

    "Did you know any good girly GAMES?"

    And I read "NAMES" instead "GAMES" , because in my mind the question "Did you know any good girly name?", would more common then a question about girly games... This was just a example, there are other confusion, many because grammar mistakes (of my part), also there a kind... I don't cultural differences, I guess, that sometimes can confuse the communication between persons...

    Other example that happen here too, a guy said something like:
    "Oh, I thinks that bla, bla, bla.."

    And I had agreed with what he had said, so I reply his message, and just put a "[2]" in the ending (One thing that is very common in the forums that I usually use", so the my message was like:
    "Oh, I thinks that bla, bla, bla.." [2]

    And the guy don't understood what I had trying to say, he don't understood, so I said the my message just meant that "I had agree with what he had said"

    And like I said there also some grammar that I commit sometimes LOL And can hamper a little the communication haha

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calico View Post
    Does this happen to anyone else? I have heard it's very common. I wonder if I may be taking it all too personal because it happens to me all the time it feels like. Does it happen to anyone else all the time?

    All over the place, people keep misunderstanding me. They don't seem to read everything I say or read my posts right. They also seem to only focus on what they want to read and ignore the rest. They even say I contradict myself and I think I am either surrounded by idiots or my communication is that poor. Plus they seem to be so black and white and can't see the obvious. Okay if I were to say I forget to eat. Then I say in another post I love sweets. Someone out there will bound to see it as a contradiction and wonder which is it. That is what I deal with online.

    I have a hard time understanding how people can read my post and not see it my way or interpret it the way I wrote it. Sometimes I think they must be doing it on purpose or they are that stupid and they can't even read. But I do get defensive and snarky sometimes about it because I get so fed up with it. I even hold in the insults. That is how frustrated I get. I even feel I am going to meltdown and I just want to scream and throw the computer. I sometimes find myself talking out loud to myself as I type angrily. But in my head I am screaming insults at them except I leave them out when I make the post so it's like an edited version of it.


    But since it's easier to misunderstand people online, I wonder if anyone else has this same problem online and how often?
    It seems like you're writing style changed for the better (IMO) in the last few weeks or so Calico. But, yes I know things can be taken in different ways from what was intended...and part due to people flying by with a reply, and did not read the context properly.

    I have a recent example where I wrote my first consideration to a subject point in parenthesis...and believed that I showed clearly that I had reconsidered, and wrote what I finally decided on...and other material...

    ...only to have at least two different people comment, a bit subjectively...on the thought that I had changed from...but, nothing about what I had changed to, or any of my added supplementation.

    While my writing isn't easy to understand by all, I think these people read the first six words alone...and replied like they were 'killing snakes'!

  4. #4

    Default

    if you (or anyone else) wonders why they are being misunderstood.....
    just go read through the thread on "Alcohol"
    http://www.adisc.org/forum/off-topic...ohol-18-a.html

    it was truly mind blowing to me; just how many people respond, or post on ADISC while under the influence. and that was just drinking. what about drugs?
    i have noticed several people whose writing style seem to be erratic at times. if not down right explosive. maybe this is part of the problem......?
    mine you, i would not suggest responding to anyone who seems abrasive or argumentative because of what i read in the alcohol thread. it's not worth the stress in my opinion.......

  5. #5

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Calico View Post
    They don't seem to read everything I say or read my posts right...
    ... they seem to be so black and white and can't see the obvious.
    ... I have a hard time understanding how people can read my post and not see it my way or interpret it the way I wrote it.
    I get that a lot; I don't post much on fora, but I often want to post and so draft my reply, but then back down after trying (but failing) to ensure (or convince myself) that it is unambiguous.
    I think it is partly the anonymity of the internet: people make more of an effort with friends and are more willing to give the benefit of the doubt, but online there is less to motivate (many) people to make the effort to understand.

    I added you as a friend because I like what you have to say: you seem honest with yourself, and I noticed that you were often being misinterpreted in the threads that I was reading, when really it seemed quite clear what you were trying to say. I think it comes down to people skim-reading, being super-subjective, black-and-white, and then just reacting unsympathetically. Not everyone is like that though.

    I think my way of dealing with it is to be totally straight-forward when writing online: I need either to explain everything I'm saying, or keep it very simple. I'm sarcastic in life, but not online (unless I italicise or flag it somehow). That wasn't totally true; it seems my fall-back way of dealing with it is mostly not to post at all, which is rather self-defeating. And I'm still more sarcastic than I ought to be...

  6. #6

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by drwho View Post
    I am kind of an ancious person, so many times, I just read rapidly something, for example, in a topic the person was asking:

    "Did you know any good girly GAMES?"

    And I read "NAMES" instead "GAMES" , because in my mind the question "Did you know any good girly name?", would more common then a question about girly games... This was just a example, there are other confusion, many because grammar mistakes (of my part), also there a kind... I don't cultural differences, I guess, that sometimes can confuse the communication between persons...

    Other example that happen here too, a guy said something like:
    "Oh, I thinks that bla, bla, bla.."

    And I had agreed with what he had said, so I reply his message, and just put a "[2]" in the ending (One thing that is very common in the forums that I usually use", so the my message was like:
    "Oh, I thinks that bla, bla, bla.." [2]

    And the guy don't understood what I had trying to say, he don't understood, so I said the my message just meant that "I had agree with what he had said"

    And like I said there also some grammar that I commit sometimes LOL And can hamper a little the communication haha
    Am I right in saying that English isn't your first language? Because I understand your post but the grammar is not great, no problems in terms of understanding but I did have to slow down and read it carefully whereas for anyone else I would just skim read it with no issues.



    Quote Originally Posted by littlelodgewrecker View Post
    if you (or anyone else) wonders why they are being misunderstood.....
    just go read through the thread on "Alcohol"
    http://www.adisc.org/forum/off-topic...ohol-18-a.html

    it was truly mind blowing to me; just how many people respond, or post on ADISC while under the influence. and that was just drinking.
    That post is about who drinks and what they like to drink, at what point in that thread did anyone say they come on here while drunk (OK I did but besides me)? Just because someone admits to drinking doesn't mean they're drunk regularly, it's not like it is impossible to drink in moderation.

  7. #7

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    I have people misunderstanding me all of the time. It even happens on an irc channel I browse. I swear, either they are trying to misread what I say, or I'm not as fluent in the English language as I had thought.

    If I make a compelling argument, I have someone acting as if they didn't even read what I had said, and then waltzing about like I have no rebuttal, when the last thing I said does exactly that. Or, when I try and talk to people about serious matters, they act like they have no idea what I'm trying to say. It's very disheartening when something is bothering me and not a single person can read properly, or whatever the hell it is they are doing to screw up that badly. I've since grown weary of even trying anymore, and if they misunderstand, so be it. I'm not repeating myself to them anymore. At least 4 people need to go take English classes again, and I'm pretty sure I've told all of them that.

    When I find someone who can understand English properly, I'll feel like it's a miracle. I have no idea how the people on the irc channel are managing to misunderstand me that badly.

    Edit: maaaan, I need to wake up before I post. Grammatical errors everywhere. I did it again.
    Last edited by KuroCat; 08-Aug-2012 at 18:08.

  8. #8

    Default

    It's not about fluency, Language is only an approximation of the world. It's designed to delete unnecessary pieces of information let's take a simple statement

    I have a pen in my hand, it's blue in colour hand has 12 bobbles of various colours off the end.

    Now what can you tell me about this pen? You could guess the colour or the ink, but you'd be wrong, it's black. You could tell me the bobbles are fuzzy, you'd be wrong, they're plastic. You could guess how far the bobbles hang from the pen, they don't, they stick out. Look at all the assumptions that could be made from that statement that aren't true, and that's just the pen, that's without the assumption that it's in my dominant hand and I'm grasping it in a fist rather than between 2 fingers and my thumb.

    Can you see how language limits you? And then there are ambiguous statements, not deliberately so but just with descriptions of things you can make them ambiguous "a big lumpy rock" is that a big rock with lumps or a rock with big lumps? And then there's the classic one with the misuse of it, "See the nail? When I nod my head hit it." Is that hit the head or hit the nail?

    Even the best of people fall for them, and even if you're really careful you can still be misunderstood, I once got flamed for 6/7 pages because I used a word with 2 meanings and people misunderstood and raged about the other meaning. Both me and the people raging were on exactly the same side but they couldn't see it because of the language I was using and their choosing not to read everything I wrote.

  9. #9

  10. #10

    Default

    I recall hearing something (big generalization and one I can't source, so take it for what it's worth: very little) from a high school teacher to the effect that Americans typically blame the reader when something is not understood whereas the British are more likely to blame themselves for being unclear. Regardless of the truth of that, I fall on the side of it being my responsibility to communicate clearly. No one gets paid to read what I write, so I try to make it clear. I think my failing in that is a tendency to use words that aren't as common but I like using just the right one. It can be frustrating when it appears that people don't read what is clearly there but I generally find that it's easily corrected.

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