the biggest communication problem is . . .

O[/dropcap]DD THE WAY THINGS WORK OUT: I was cruising Facebook earlier this morning and stumbled over a poster. This was before my caffeine intake, usually a bad practice: two mugs of Trader Joe’s Dark French Roast with a dollop of honey is how I jumpstart the day! It was a rather well-known statement by a famous scientist to which I took a wee exception. (It’s a matter of semantics, not science.) 1


This is the poster. If you want to know what my issue is, you will have to click on over to Facebook and read the thread there . . .

So I commented and got a response from the man (let’s call him DPB) who had uploaded the poster to his Facebook page. DPB and I had a couple of back-and-forths that left me uncertain as to his intent: was DPB making a point beyond my ability to grasp it, or was DPB just one of those confrontational people that found his place in the sun (where there’s hope for everyone) on the Internet?

So I visited his Facebook page and—Voila!—I found what appears to be a kindred spirit in DPB! 2

I agreed with most of the issues that he addressed on his page and also found the poster that sits at the top of his page: “The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.”

Coincidentally, this mirrors a couple of lines that I jotted down on the bus on Saturday in my trusty pocket notebook. (Pen and paper as I am of an age where I have yet to master a smartphone, so I have to use old-fashioned media.) I scribbled, “Virtually every human being is interested in speaking. Many are even interested in listening. Few are interested in communicating.”

So the “communication” poster on DPB’s Facebook page and my jottings are sorta kissin’ cousins, semantically. And serendipity led me to find a possible kindred spirit on a social media platform that I normally use frivolously to break my night’s consciousness fast . . .


  Semantics properly being “the study of the meanings of words and phrases in language; the meanings of words and phrases in a particular context.” As used in everyday consensual reality, it tends to refer to how two people might disagree over the use of words to make a point. To communicate.

2   Would “Eureka!” be a more appropriate ejaculation in this context?

Comments, suggestions, additions, and arguments welcome!