I know what I said and you know what you heard, unfortunately, it's not the same thing.
If that doesn't describe interpersonal communications, I don't know what does.
I dearly love the Engineer, but he speaks geek and I speak nerdette. Sometimes, more often than I like to admit, we are not on the same wavelength. I suspect his growing up with an identical twin didn't help matters. He has an expectation that a grunt, a shift of the shoulders and a twitch of the mustache should speak volumes. To the Twin, they do. Makes it difficult to play cards with them because each knows what the other is holding -- and they won't switch partners, they are always a team.
For years I've been trying to convince him that I am merely the Wife, not the Twin, and that I can only glean broad emotions from grunts and twitches, not Russian-novel-length concepts.
He doesn't seem to comprehend me any better. Sometimes he'll ask me to repeat the same thing half a dozen times. Don't know if he honestly doesn't understand what I'm saying or if he hopes that I will change it if he asks me enough times.
Our conversations end, on a regular basis, with me telling him, "It's a good thing you're cute."
A conceptual bypass happened between a friend's lips and my ears the other day. There was a vital piece of information assumed but not known. I ended up blithely trotting down an unintended path that ended with both of us going, "Huh?" at the end. It was one of those "well, duh!" moments for me once the little bit of information was revealed. Should have known it all along, but it never occurred to me.
I love words, as I said yesterday, but it really helps understanding if both parties are using the same dictionary and facing in the same direction.
A rose by any name might smell as sweet, but unless you draw me a picture, I won't know what you're talking about. P.S. I agree with you, Cicada, it's nice to be able to use the full vocabulary and know you'll be understood. That's one of the reasons I like college better than real life. Also agree on phlegmatic, it's been up at the top of my favorite words list many times.