Is it just me or ….?

10 September 2015

Many people see me as a ‘wise owl’ kind of character…. they ask my advice and consider me to be a knowledgeable person in certain realms. In the book Winnie-the-Pooh (by A. A. Milne), Owl is an aged wise owl who likes to tell stories and can be very serious, although most of the time he is just calm and, more often than not, he has a happy-go-lucky attitude. I can see many ‘owl-ly’ traits in me. However, not all of the characteristics ring true as Wikipedia states that Owl believes that “he is the most intelligent animal in the wood, but he is really quite scatterbrained”. I certainly do not share this belief in myself!

In fact some days, I really wonder if I am living on the same planet as everyone else and speaking the same language as the people around me. What I think makes perfect sense, doesn’t seem to for certain others. It’s true what they say that the spoken and written word can be received in a totally different way by the recipient than the message sender intended. But really, is it so hard to understand plain English? “Please do X” is pretty specific, don’t you think? So, why do people then go off and do something entirely different? Is the problem with the sender of the instruction, or does it lie with the person receiving the message? Whose fault is it?!

As a youngster, I was never the greatest at understanding written text – or reading comprehension, as it was called – and that was something I had to work really hard on in my senior school years. I have learnt a lot of irrelevant information in my lifetime and sometimes people even find it useful – at pub quizzes generally! But those challenges have made me want to write even more, so I can make text comprehensible for others. I would like to think that after ten years of being a writer/author, I have mastered the art of getting my message across clearly to my readers in an original, imaginative and creative way. Perhaps it’s just the direct instructions I still struggle with …. Food for thought.

Is it just me or …..?

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