by Leon Rosenshein


Words have meanings. We have whole books that do nothing but list words and their meanings. Of course they use other words to define words, so it’s slightly circular, but somehow we’ve managed to make things work.

Now some of those words can have multiple meanings. Sometimes it’s the same spelling but different pronunciation, like lead, You can have lead the element as a noun, or lead the verb as in “The captain will lead us to victory”. Or it can be the same pronunciation, but different spelling, like their , there , and they're . It’s not too bad when writing, but in spoken English it can be a problem.

Which make communication hard, because it’s not just the words and their meanings, it’s the words around them. And the time. And the location. And the discussion itself. Because context matters.

In the ST;TNG episode Darmok that gets taken to the next level. The words are just labels for an entire story. And if you don’t know the story, how can you communicate?

So next time you need to communicate with someone, remember that its more than just the words, its the entire context. Otherwise you’ll end up in a conversation like this tiktok