What You Say Versus How You Say It…Matters

What You Say Versus How You Say It

Last year, I wrote a piece about consent. This morning, I got a comment on FetLife on that piece saying: 

“…the type of consent you’re describing:

‘Do you like when I do this? Would you like more? What if I move lower? May I touch you here?’

Would be a boring turnoff to everyone I’ve ever played with who I can think of. That’s service topping, which is fine, but plenty of people don’t want service topping.”

SirDudeTheBrutal on FetLife

The conversation has continued. You can see it in this thread, if you’re curious: https://fetlife.com/users/50648/posts/4759575

There is a Huge difference between:

And this:

Because HOW we speak words matters.

Now, maybe neither of those audios really do it for you, or the consent idea is not your thing.

And that’s OK. I’m not out to be appealing to everyone in the world. (I don’t have the energy to fight y’all off, anyway! LOL!)

This is really about how we communicate.

Here’s another example I’ve used before:

I’m Your Man, Michael Bublé

Versus:

I’m You Man, Bill Pritchard

I was SUPER excited when I found out Michael was releasing a version of “I’m Your Man,” because I LOVED Bill Pritchard’s version from “I’m Your Fan.”

Unfortunately, I found Michael’s version felt whiny and entitled to me, while Bill Pritchard’s version feels like surrender from a place of strength…

Same words.

Different ways of saying them.

What you say matters.

How you say it also matters.

Writing Prompt: Feminism In Today’s World—OR—Why “Feminism” As A Word Is Tainted, In My Opinion

Feminism: Graffiti on a wall in Jamaica shows a woman chasing a man with a club.

A friend sent me this video a few days back:

It’s a good one. Eliza VanCort obviously knows her shit, and as a communication geek, I picked up a few ways of thinking and speaking about communication that I didn’t have before.

Some of the video made me cringe, though.

Continue reading “Writing Prompt: Feminism In Today’s World—OR—Why “Feminism” As A Word Is Tainted, In My Opinion”

I’ll Show You My Exformation, If You’ll Show Me Yours…

A classic image of two children looking into their diapers.

Effective communication depends on a shared body of knowledge between the persons communicating. In using words, sounds, and gestures, the speaker has deliberately thrown away a huge body of information, though it remains implied. This shared context is called exformation. source

In other words, exformation is the assumed knowledge and shared understanding that is not explicitly spoken in communication.

So, for example, when I say to my Pet, “ruined,” or text him, “#ruined,” there is a history of our conversations around that topic, from the very first evening nearly 4 1/2 years ago, when one of his best friends was listening to him gush about me, and told him, “You are so ruined.”

So, exformation is necessary for those in jokes and couple concepts. Continue reading “I’ll Show You My Exformation, If You’ll Show Me Yours…”

Why it’s not just semantics.

The words: Semantics Matter above a woman holding a kitty cat. The words below say: Katherine was absolutely certain that her newly shorn pussy would be the hit of the party.

So, I’ve long been a fan of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, even before I knew it was an actual thing.

Linguistic Relativity on Wikipedia

I used to think I was going to study languages and etymology when I went to school. I bought my very own copy of the OED when I was 14, and love that book.

So, the Sapir-Whorf in basic terms is that the words you use shape your world, your actions and your thoughts.

This is one reason I have a habit of saying, “XXX and YYY are not the same. That’s why we have different words for them.” Some people retort, “That’s just semantics.”

I couldn’t disagree more.

For, example, on another discussion today, I asked about the poster’s definitions of angry and upset, and if he believes they are different.

I do.

Very different.

But if he does not, then he has limited two potential states to just one, and can only react within his own perceived reality.

I first hear about this outside of my own head listening to Anthony Robbins. He spoke of how many people recycle the same 5-10 emotions every day, which limited their world possibilities and set them into unhealthy and dull patterns.

So, instead of angry (which most people understand as a concept from kindergarten), you could be:

  • frustrated
  • annoyed
  • peeved
  • furious
  • upset
  • discombobulated
  • mad
  • cross
  • vexed
  • irked
  • irritated

And so on.

And you definitions of the severity and degree and actions that go with could be different, therefore putting a completely different spin on a scenario.

Let’s say your SO does something that would normally make you angry. How would you react if you were instead merely irked? Or if it made you furious?

Different than angry?

For me, they are very different.

And it’s powerful knowing I have a better understanding of my emotional states than the typical 6 year-old. grins

So, the other day, I ran across this:

Video about Sapir-Whorf and how it applies to sexual behavior, sense of direction and finances.

Which shows just how powerful this concept it.

So, I propose that the phrase “That’s just semantics,” be stricken forever from our lexicon and be replaced with as many different conceptual words as we can fit into our heads, in order to define the world better for ourselves and to communicate better with those around us.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.