Hey, I can combine these into one sentence!

2003-06-03 22:52

I’m one of those people who talks before he thinks. No malice, no ill-intent; it’s just that forming words doesn’t require any kind of conscious intervention on my part, so it tends to just happen, without much awareness until it’s already happened.

Which means I spend a lot of time saying “oh, wait, I didn’t mean it like that.”

Today, I had a real beauty. I was gonna go out and work on my latest text adventure with my friend Kevin, and I hadn’t told my spouse this yet, but I came up to talk to him. So, we were talking, and he made some comment about shaving (I get fairly scruffy before I bother, most of the time). The dialogue went something like this:

Him: You should shave.
Me: (grinning) I suppose that improves my chances of getting laid, huh?
Him: Generally, yes.
Me: Well, then I guess I should go shave before I go out with Kevin.

General hilarity ensues. I would guess that I had already said the word “out” before the part of my brain that processes things started thinking “hmm, should I have said this that way?”. I know what happened. I wished to share several pieces of information:

  • I am going to go shave.
  • Implication: I’m feeling flirty.
  • By the way, I’m going out in a bit.
  • Kevin and I are working on our game again.

Somewhere, deep in my brain, something looked at this and said “Hey, I can combine these into one sentence.” Any implications were not considered. I’m not an implications guy; I’m a pedant. I take things, most of the time, directly at face value, without really thinking about implications or inferences.

This isn’t the only example of critical failures in attempts to communicate, but it’s one of my most stunning.

Peter Seebach

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Comments

  1. You forgot to mention my reply:

    "Then make sure to bring the camera."

    -J

    — Jesse · 2003-06-04 01:33 · #

 
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