Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's all about context

I've figured out that the time has come. Some of my frames of reference are just outdated. I made a funny (cracked me up) yesterday and all I heard was crickets. It WAS funny...for those of us who lived through the 70's. Unfortunately, the recipient of my gift of humor wasn't born until 1984. ::sigh::

It's all about context. I had a college professor who always said "Text without Context is Pretext". He was referring to the appropriate application of scripture, but it is true in communication in general.

Context by definition is
1. the parts of a piece of writing, speech, etc., that precede and follow a word or passage and contribute to its full meaning it is unfair to quote out of context
2. the conditions and circumstances that are relevant to an event, fact, etc.

In other words, if you don't know where I'm coming from, you probably won't understand what I'm talking about. 

Think of how often in life this could apply. We tell toddlers to use their words instead of grunting, motioning, whining etc. But how often as adults do we forget to use our words? We assume others know our context and we communicate at them, not to them. I am guilty. Especially with my husband sometimes. :-)

So here is my goal. To be sure to adequately communicate not only my immediate concern, but the surrounding context so that the goal of truly communicating can be achieved. 

Besides, that way when I'm being funny, you'll laugh!!


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