Ahhhh the unfortunate world of misinterpretation. Misinterpretation… it isn’t exactly a concept adored by many of us. In fact, I like to see it as one of the natural banes of our lives, regardless of how intellectual we are. No I’m afraid you might have got the wrong end of the stick, dear! is a phrase I hear much too often nowadays. With so much going on in my tired, little noggin, it’s quite easy for me to end up misjudging what the implied intention of something actually was. The ‘Awkward’ moment, the ‘Epic Fail’ moment, the ‘Sorry, I didn’t quite catch that. For the third time, what did you say?’ moment – these are all unfortunate births that have arisen from my arch nemesis that is the ‘misinterpretation’. Just like having a conversation with your best friend about religion or politics (This NEVER goes down well. Bring these two up and, well, prepare for a ‘Clash of the Titans’), misinterpretation is a concept I try to avoid at all costs.
Yet, the bitter truth of life is that our skills are constantly being tested. Okay you got me, sometimes I misinterpret things, just let me off with a warning and I’ll learn not to do it? Ohhh how I wish it were that simple. My ‘Supermum’ recently discovered, thanks to her keen bargain eye, a book in the ‘Red Cross’ called ‘The World’s Stupidest Signs’. If ever ‘misinterpretation’ were to have a partner in crime? The ‘sign’ would step up to the challenge. A baffling concept, as signs are seen as ‘An object, quality, or event whose presence or occurrence indicates the probable presence or occurrence of something else’. What exactly that ‘something else’ is, I hope to be a plain, simple suggestion. However, the English Language has its faults – and signs are willing and able to put our own faults and that of our language to the test. Here are the ‘Top 3 Unfortunate Signs As Chosen By Adrian ‘Misinterpreted’ Horan:
- ‘WANTED UNMARRIED GIRLS TO PICK FRESH FRUIT AND PRODUCE AT NIGHT’ Number 1 was found on a farm. A farm? It sounds more like a brothel! Oh… oh you meant something that has been grown? I’d suggest finding a synonym for ‘produce’ – you might get the wrong sort of ‘unmarried girl’ working for you!
- ‘HAVE YOUR EARS PIERCED AND GET AN EXTRA PAIR FOR FREE’ An extra pair? Thanks for the offer, but I think I’m coping just fine with these two ears, I’ll come back if there’s a problem *leaves jewellers*. Wait a minute…
- ‘ELEPHANTS PLEASE STAY IN YOUR CAR’ Now, Nellie, you read the safari park sign, DON’T leave the car it’s not safe. *Gasp* Mum, stay calm, there’s an elephant in the passenger seat. Get the peanuts from the glove compartment, sloooowly.
It’s clear that all three examples had their intentions in almost the right place. However, ‘Misinterpretation’ strikes again! Sadly, they all suffered from this tragic outcome:
Despite the brief chuckle at their misfortune, I won’t mock them as the common ‘Misread Sign’ can crop up in my life from time to time. Our lives appear to be a spontaneous, ongoing process where each day is as we make it. However, as we’ve all been subject to, sometimes we might see moments to be a ‘sign’, or a reflection we should have noticed. Hey hey, yeah you! I want you to notice me – I’m happening for a reason! Personally, I’m not a great believer in ‘fatality’ or ‘predetermination’, as each of us possesses our own free will to do as we wish. Yet, sometimes I believe a ‘sign’ may appear in our life in order to make us head into the right direction. Okay, so I’m not a driver (despite my impressive skills playing racing games *shuffles imaginary tie*), but I think ‘road signs’ can be compared a little to that of our own life. I recently read this post on ‘Yahoo’ by a chap called ‘Albert Adler’ discussing signs in our lives. Thought I’d engage in a little segment of ‘Pimp My Article’ and ‘vamp’ it up with a reflection on real, materialistic signs. Here’s his article:
He mentioned about ‘informal signs’ in our lives, whether that from a dream or a black cat. For the ‘Rally Racers’ of our streets, you might not have seen these signs. For those ‘Cautious Kevin’s out there, you certainly will have. On the roads, you’ll see signs telling you to ‘STOP’ or ‘SLOW DOWN’. In our lives, we might get a little bit carried away with it all. Sometimes, those around might be telling us to ‘STOP’ or ‘SLOW DOWN’ (without the shouting, which the capital letters seem to imply) – they are signs to inform us. Plus, they are quite simple, which means we can clutch the right end of the stick with both hands *sigh of relief*. If you’ve ever heard Electric Six shout the words ‘DANGER,DANGER!’ you should know the second is a warning sign. They’ve kind of summed it up for me. I like to see this sign in our real lives as a ‘conscience’. Whilst Joe Bloggs might be telling us ‘Playing with fire is SICK’, my conscience knows otherwise. Take that, Joe! His third kind were signs which ‘test our will’. It’s an open, country road – no other cars are on it, for the country isn’t as popular as it used to be. ‘SPEED LIMIT 30’ the sign reads. HA we might think to ourselves *accelerates aggressively*. Bad hypothetical driver. We might have signs in our lives where it is beginning to feel quite strenuous on ourselves. Rules, rules, rules! These are merely to test our will – to let us come out on the other side. They’re doing us a favour. Mr Adler did a dandy job with the fourth one, so I’ll leave it untouched for now! Signs such as these aren’t quite so easy to misinterpret as my ‘Top 3’ mentioned earlier. Reflecting on signs in our own lives certainly makes our interpretation skills appear to be less embarrassing. Don’t let misinterpretation win – stay strong, you shall overcome it!