What part of KNOW don’t you understand?

img_0037thumbnail.jpgDangling Conversation Piece

This is why I have nominated myself to be the Global Village Idiot: in conversation, I often (let’s say…20% of the time) have to ask a speaker to repeat what they said. It isn’t deafness–I had my hearing checked out, it’s normal, or within bounds for my age.

“Inbound Tourettte’s” is a yet-undescribed condition whereby the sound of what’s said takes over, or the words themselves morph into their homonym/homophone/homograph (Sea blog title).

Or the gaps between the letters expand or contract (in letterpress, this is called kerning, dropping tiny copper spacers between the type). If your vocabulary is huge (though unorganized) much merriment can ensue as several possibilities present themselves in rapid sequins.

Enter the “pseudomessage” and I’m the L’austin space cowgirl.

What else is new?

It takes a second or two to realize that I got it terribly wrong.

Assuming the speaker isn’t impatient—if they’re human—I get a ‘do-over’.

Trip Gabriel’s feature in Outside Mag quoted me instructing a novice rider to ” perch on the saddle ‘like a sea clam'”…When I had distinctly said “C-clamp”….look at someone crouched over the bars struggling up a hill and tell me they look even remotely “clammy”. They ARE curved like the letter C.

Tough luck if I’m at a lecture or a movie. If it’s a song (remember “Goodbye, Groovy Tuesday”?), no sweat! There is an entire category devoted to misapprehended song lyrics.

Dismayed to learn then, that even in the written certainties of my new medium–the blog– that there’s ample room for misunderstanding. The nuances are different. Things seem more abrupt, more terse and infinitely more hurried.

It is a joy then when someone like Henry Cutler takes a few minutes to say hello, and give succor to a woman perpetually sliding around on marbly surfaces, in the superficial silos, the border of our lies….

Dear reader if you know how to get the dummy to stand upright, please tell me the right command. I am not figuring it out.

~ by jacquiephelan on January 29, 2008.

3 Responses to “What part of KNOW don’t you understand?

  1. Ah, so this is what you were referring to. An yet, doesn’t this “problem” also give you your wonderful ability with words; to create the wordplays that are so delightful to encounter in your writing. I’ve often wondered what enabled people to do that kind of thing so easily. Love the new portrait with the banjo by the way.

  2. Oh this is so good.. did you make up that word? the homo won?
    This is sumptuous, I hope you are writing this down..the images
    are left brain not write.

  3. I just read a book about William Wiley (Chuck’s brother…chuck’s my musical pal in the Road Oilers old time band)…and instantly found a soul mate in this Punny Tourettic
    Tendency I have.
    So nice not to be alone in it all…

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