I Did Not Say He Stole My Money.

Image from Pixabay
By Jabo
@jaboUK (53924)
United Kingdom
August 1, 2016 6:34pm CST
It's interesting that the way we stress certain words can completely change what we are trying to say. Have a look at this: I did not say he stole my money. ((someone else said it?) I did not SAY he stole my money. (I emailed or messaged it?) I did not say HE stole my money. (I think someone else did?) I did not say he STOLE my money. (He borrowed it perhaps?) I did not say he stole MY money. ( He stole someone else's?) I did not say he stole my MONEY. (He stole something else?) So that is 6 different interpretations of the same words. It just shows how misunderstandings can occur, and it can apply to the written word as well. I was attending a marketing meeting and this subject came up, so I thought I'd share it with you. How often have you read something in a different way from the way the writer intended, or had something you've written been taken the wrong way by someone else?
74 people like this
77 responses
@jstory07 (67037)
• Roseburg, Oregon
1 Aug 16
I think that happens all the time and you have to go back and read what was wrote again.
12 people like this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 16
@jstory07 That is true, it's easy to mistake what the writer intended.
5 people like this
• United States
2 Aug 16
@jstory07 -- "all the time' ? well that again is another part of listening using a particular train of thought that leaves little room for a grey area-- totalitarian thought eliminates the maybe and stands firm on words like 'always, all or never' . . . which is problematic when deductive reasoning skills are to be exercised with critical thinking skills influenced
@WorDazza (10106)
• Manchester, England
2 Aug 16
Happens all the time with me. Everything I write is actually magnificent prose on a par with Dickens, Hugo or Dumas but everyone who reads it seems to think it's just the ramblings of a confused mind!
8 people like this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 16
@WorDazza Aah - poor misunderstood Dazza
4 people like this
@WorDazza (10106)
• Manchester, England
2 Aug 16
@jaboUK It's not necessarily the misunderstood who is at fault. I can't shoulder the blame for a society so lacking in educational standards that people can't see genius when it's staring them in the face!
6 people like this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 16
2 people like this
@Asylum (48281)
• Manchester, England
1 Aug 16
The chance of misinterpreting comments here at Mylot is further enhanced by the global nature of the site.
7 people like this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 16
@Asylum Yes, it's easy to miss some inferences when cultures are different.
5 people like this
@Asylum (48281)
• Manchester, England
2 Aug 16
@jaboUK Especially when idiomatic terminology is used.
4 people like this
@vandana7 (64863)
• India
2 Aug 16
I agree...I am always Miss Understanding.
4 people like this
@TRBRocks420 (77492)
• Banks, Oregon
2 Aug 16
It happens to the best of us.
6 people like this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 16
@TRBRocks420 Yes, and being from different countries makes it more likely to happen.
5 people like this
@vandana7 (64863)
• India
2 Aug 16
Your language is such...what can you do..lol.
2 people like this
@koopharper (6284)
• Canada
2 Aug 16
I've been on both ends of this many times. Clarity when writing can sometimes be elusive.
5 people like this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 16
@koopharper You are right - I find the emoticons useful to soften my words sometimes, as I know I can come across as a bit brusque.
5 people like this
• Canada
2 Aug 16
@jaboUK I used to avoid them but I do find they help convey what I'm trying to say. Especially when I'm being facetious which happens quite a lot.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 16
@koopharper They are especially useful when we are not being serious, aren't they?
2 people like this
@magallon (18090)
• Philippines
1 Aug 16
It happened to me often. So I have to reread the article or discussion to better get its idea.
4 people like this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 16
@magallon Yes, sometimes I have to read something two or three times.
3 people like this
@magallon (18090)
• Philippines
2 Aug 16
@jaboUK And there was somebody here who feel disgusted ( i think ) because my response is not the one he expects to read.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 16
@magallon Really? If people aren't prepared to listen to different opinions they are on the wrong site.
4 people like this
@amadeo (65797)
• United States
1 Aug 16
I see this quite often there.A good point there
4 people like this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 16
@amadeo Yes, I know I've misunderstood a few things.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Aug 16
taxin' my brain cells, eh? lol, i'd the need to read this several times. not that'cha didn't put such clearly, jest the brain's misfirin' 'gain :) yepperz, i've no doubt i'm guilty 'f such - both ends 'f that candle. tends to occur with the hiccups?? i get snarky 'n sometimes jest don't make not a lick 'f sense...e'en to myself when i go back'n read the dribbles i've left. thankfully folks like yerself seem to ignore this, lol. big
3 people like this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 16
@crazyhorseladycx Being misunderstood happens to us all sometimes - someone even blocked me and reported me on Bubblews because they'd thought I was casting aspersions about them. It got sorted with apologies all round, but it was rather uncomfortable at the time. I don't think you've offended anyone though
2 people like this
• United States
2 Aug 16
@jaboUK what?? this'd be the first i've heard'f such. i dunno how anybody could be offended by what'cha pen? but then ya toss'n cultural diff'rences/language usage 'n i reckon such's possible? dependin' 'n what sorta mood the other party might be'n. oh, i offend lots 'f folks ~ mainly with jest the fact that i dribble funny . some've e'en said so 't that 'other place' 'n also here. they don't wish me to leave my 'non-english' scattered 'n their lovely discussions, so i refrain...most oft anyhow. 'tis a pity, coz i enjoy their writin'. life's too short to ponder such though big hugs 'n love comin' at'cha from 'cross the pond, dear lady!
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 16
@crazyhorseladycx The one I had a problem with on Bubblews was English would you believe , so we couldn't blame cultural differences there. She completely misinterpreted what I said and went ballistic. She did apologise afterwards and admitted she hadn't been feeling well at the time. I apologised too for causing her pain, and we were friends again. If people don't like your 'dribbles' that's their loss.
1 person likes this
@JolietJake (51144)
• United States
2 Aug 16
The written word can be a bit tricky, since in many instances inflection of specific words can be hard to convey. Also, one need take into account the previous and following words to get the correct context. And they still have yet to create a 'sarcasm' font, which I am in desperate need of some days. Especially on myLot...many times I have had to take someone by the hand and gently guide them through something I said so they would fully understand what it meant. But most days I just say 'The hell with it' and smack 'em on the head with a hammer or something.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 16
@JolietJake Sarcasm is especially hard to convey with the written word, isn't it? I think most of us who read you regularly have no problem understanding you, but it must be difficult for people for whom English isn't their first language. Somehow the picture of you 'taking someone by the hand and gently guiding them' doesn't quite sit right!
3 people like this
@JolietJake (51144)
• United States
2 Aug 16
@jaboUK I thought of a 7th meaning: I did not say he stole my money. (someone was spreading rumors/lies)
3 people like this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 16
@JolietJake Aha! I missed that one.
3 people like this
@hereandthere (31018)
• Philippines
2 Aug 16
i remember writing 'i can understand...' but it seems the responder misread it as 'i can't understand...' and proceeded to explain something to me. so now, i write 'it's understandable.'
3 people like this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 16
@hereandthere Yes - people do tend to skim over things and the 't' they miss can be all important.
2 people like this
@silvermist (20100)
• India
2 Aug 16
@jaboUK The written word may convey different meanings.Interesting.But when say it ,the correct meaning often gets conveyed.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 16
@silvermist Yes it's a lot easier when we can actually hear what's being said - tone of voice and where the emphasis is placed makes things a lot clearer.
2 people like this
@silvermist (20100)
• India
2 Aug 16
@jaboUK Hope you did not have the occasion to say this about anybody.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 16
@silvermist Lol no, It's purely an example
1 person likes this
@sol_cee (15430)
• Saint Vincent And The Grenadines
2 Aug 16
SO WHO STOLE THE MONEY? lol
2 people like this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 16
@sol_cee T'wasn't me Your Honour!
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (64863)
• India
2 Aug 16
It was my money.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 16
@vandana7 Well it wasn't ME wot stole it!!
1 person likes this
@rebelann (41230)
• El Paso, Texas
2 Aug 16
Oh yes, it happens so often. The written word is worse because we cannot see the inflections where it was intended. I've had a tough time with that and am still learning how to write to make my point clear ..... that's always so much easier said then done for me.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 16
@rebelann It happens to us all - lots of times I look at something I've written and realise how brusque it sounds - I know I've come across badly to you on occasion, haven't I?
2 people like this
@rebelann (41230)
• El Paso, Texas
2 Aug 16
I wouldn't call it bad just not what you'd intended @jaboUK the same has happened to me a few times here. It is really easy to give the wrong impression when writing which is why I admire authors who get their point across so vividly.
@Ceerios (4756)
• Goodfellow, Texas
2 Aug 16
@jaboUK - Ms Janet - I believe that "she" did it, whatever IT was that she DID.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 16
@Ceerios Trust you to twist things round! Hey you just get here and I'm going to bed.
2 people like this
@Ceerios (4756)
• Goodfellow, Texas
2 Aug 16
@jaboUK - Ms Janet - I would not want to violate your trust in me. Also - have a nice rest.
1 person likes this
@VivaLaDani13 (19866)
• Perth, Australia
6 Feb 17
@jaboUK Yeah this is why I like to actually talk things out if it's something important so you can hear the tone of voice. Rather than typing. And emphasising certain words can help to figure out the meaning too.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
7 Feb 17
@VivaLaDani13 Yes, tone and emphasis can convey far more than the written word.
1 person likes this
@Inlemay (16542)
• South Africa
5 Aug 16
I read @WorDazza list and found it quite amusing. Emphasis on certain words changes the sentence every time.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
5 Aug 16
@Inlemay WorDazza's a funny guy, thanks for responding to my suggestion. As you say, the meaning can be completely changed, depending on where you put the emphasis.
1 person likes this
@responsiveme (16170)
• India
2 Aug 16
This was very good....and no misinterpretations about it .
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 16
@responsiveme I'm glad you think so Arundhati
1 person likes this
• India
2 Aug 16
@jaboUK I did. Theres this book ---eats shoots and leaves---- about punctuation.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 16
@responsiveme Yes, I know about that, though I've not actually read it.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (42985)
• Gainesville, Florida
2 Aug 16
That reminds me of an old joke that circulated in the late 1970's after the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant meltdown in the U.S. The joke was "You can never add too much water to the reactor." Well, darn, did that mean that if you add too much water it's bad for the reactor, or you can add as much water as you want and it wouldn't hurt the reactor?
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 16
@moffittjc That is a classic example of what I'm talking about here. It makes perfect sense whichever way you read it - do you know which one is right?
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (42985)
• Gainesville, Florida
2 Aug 16
@jaboUK I think neither one is right, which is what made the joke so funny. If you don't add enough water, you get a nuclear meltdown and uncontrolled chain reaction. If you add too much water, you essentially kill the nuclear reaction taking place in the centrifuges. It's a very careful balancing act of know exactly how much water to add! When the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan several years back and triggered the meltdown of their nuclear power plant, they had to figure out quickly how to pump fresh water into the reactors to cool them down to prevent a complete meltdown. Apparently, only fresh water works, as saltwater from the ocean is too corrosive or something like that.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 16
@moffittjc Right - thanks for all that info.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (157275)
• Switzerland
2 Aug 16
It is even too easy to misinterpret a text, especially if you are of another culture or nationality. When I write professional letters I try to be absolutely clear and I think that most of the time I am.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
2 Aug 16
@LadyDuck I've no doubt that your letters are perfectly clear Anna.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (157275)
• Switzerland
3 Aug 16
@jaboUK My husband uses to tell me never to give for granted that people understand. He taught marketing courses in the past, what I learned has been really useful.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
3 Aug 16
@LadyDuck That's interesting about your husband teaching marketing courses. This post came about because I had to attend a marketing meeting because of my work at the racecourse. It was basically about customer relations and was pretty boring apart from when they started talking about the emphasis on certain words making such a difference. I found that interesting, so thought myLotters might too.
1 person likes this
@blitzfrick (2912)
• United States
7 Aug 16
Not so much in writing lately, although when I first started playing on the internet yes. I get into more trouble with what I say when I speak. I wish I had a dollar for every time I've decided I must take a lifelong vow of silence.... Was it something I said? I no longer even bother to ask the question.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
7 Aug 16
@blitzfrick You are prone to putting your foot in it?
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Aug 16
@jaboUK Oh, I generally leap in with both feet and land up to my ears in it.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (53924)
• United Kingdom
7 Aug 16
1 person likes this