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October 12, 2011

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Randy Averill

I try to figure out how any statement can be misinterpreted - usually by analyzing the literal meaning(s) of the words. For me, this is moderately entertaining (the fact that it sometimes annoys others is merely a side benefit). Such analysis does, however, reduce communications errors. Here are some tips for honing skills in this area (I'm sure others will follow):
- Learn (or at least get some exposure to) another language. This will build empathy for those that don't share your life experiences or your native language. You will become more aware of words and phrases that are sometimes misinterpreted.
- Host an exchange student. We've hosted about twenty of them and we quickly discover everyday terms that trip them up. (I'm not going to recommend international adoption for everybody, but our two Ethiopian sons remind me to think about what I say.)
- Continue to read this blog. Spending a few minutes thinking about communications a couple times a week helps keep us sharp.
Thank you, Lynn, for this resource. I hope your father gets good use from his hearing aids for a long time.

carmen

thanks Lynn. i've found your blog recently and enjoy reading it so much.

English is not my mother tongue and i am always confused about the using of "the". May i ask you a question, you wrote: "He had just gotten hearing aids and needed instruction on how to use them." Why don't you put "the" in front of "hearing aids"?

pls allow me to ask one more question- you wrote"The doctor, around age 50, told my father ... ". Sometimes i see "aged 50", so when should i use age but not "aged"?

I will be grateful for any help you can provide. :)

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Randy. I appreciate your excellent, practical suggestions and commentary. Thank you for sharing!

Also, thank you for the kind words about this blog and your good wishes for my father.

Lynn

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Carmen. I am away from my reference books this week, so I will have to delay my response to your questions. I want to consult my references to be sure I give you correct, complete answers.

Lynn

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Thank you Lynn from Chennai, India. Reading your blog daily for my self improvement. Keep giving us more :-)

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

FatimaJAX, thank you for commenting. I always enjoy hearing from readers, especially from a different part of the world.

I will keep writing for you!

Lynn

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