If I've told you ten times, you haven't heard me once.

May 15, 2018


Language is such a funny thing. There can be an infinite amount of dialects of any language, leading to an infinite amount of ways that people who speak the same language and use the same words can be having two different conversations. The best example of this would be the word pop. Depending on where in the country you are, if someone asks if you like pop, they could either be asking you if you like pop music or if you like soft drinks, also known as soda. These colloquialisms make it possible for two people to have two separate conversations without even knowing it; unless one of the parties at some point asks for clarification. The problem with this is that you have to know that you don't know if you're talking about the same thing to seek clarification.


My husband and I have had several arguments because, although we both speak English, we don't speak the same dialect. I grew up all over the country, so I have picked up many colloquialisms from every corner of the United States. My husband, although well traveled, was born and raised in the same house that he lived in until we got married. Not only are our dialects different but our education and cultures are different. I am college educated, grew up in mostly blue states, and I grew up in a mixed-race family. He did attend college shortly (but decided it wasn't his cup of tea), grew up in a red state, and he also comes from a mixed family (through marriage though). So when they say that opposites attract this is a prime example.


Everything about our upbringings would lead us to have different connotations of words. So, when we get into arguments, I understand it, and I shrug it off as we're speaking different languages. Time and time again I have to explain word for word what my statements mean, because there are so many differences between our dialects and culture. My husband, on the other hand, was brought up in this world where he mostly went to school with the same people from K-12 and lived in one house his whole life. So, it's effortless for him to believe that if people don't think like him and those around him then they don't have "common sense". I understand though it's "common sense" in Alabama that "the south shall rise again" and it's common sense just about everywhere else that they lost the war.


"The biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred."

-George Bernard Shaw



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