I hope you enjoy my blog, a collection of articles and thoughts regarding my interests. I'm a married father of two that loves to write about gliding, hunting, fishing, camping and any outdoor passion. Oh yah, I'm a quadriplegic. I hope this is informative to some, entertaining to others, and interesting to all. Let me know what you think. If you'd like an article for your publication, I've got words I haven't even used yet!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Communication Is The Key

Conflict between two parties can usually be boiled down to a lack of communication. Us men have been known to occasionally misinterpret simple words, all because we take them at face value and didn't pay attention to the subtle nuances that went along with the word.  

Take the word 'fine'  for example. I wasn't aware that the word 'fine' had such an enormous range and depth associated with it. When a woman says 'fine', she can, with that one simple word,  mean anything from 'fine' to 'I'm going to rip your head off'. One only has to pay attention to the subtle gestures to unearth the meaning.

You innocently ask, "How is your day going?" The answer that you receive is 'fine'. But now you have to sit back and filter in the gentle nuances to get the true meaning.

Take the following two scenarios for instance:

1) Say she happens to be by the flower-garden, lounging in a lawn chair in the sunshine with little birds tweeting in the background, a colourful drink on the table beside her with a cute little umbrella in it, and lowering her book with a smile when she replies 'fine'.

2) Now say she is adorned with apron and fuzzy slippers at 2:30 pm, is drying dishes while the cat is screaming at her to be fed, the dog just puked on the carpet, her eyes are staring at the muddy prints that you just left on the freshly-mopped kitchen floor while you were enroute to putting your empties on the folded laundry and fishing rod back in the garage. She replies 'fine' through gritted teeth.

Can you spot the difference? Did you notice the 'gritted teeth'? That was your subtle clue. You may be surprised to find that even though both replies are identical, they have different meanings. Without factoring in the accompanying clues, one may be tempted to take 'fine' at face value and blindly follow up with "What's for supper?"

See how quickly and innocently misinterpretations can occur?

On that note, I was thinking (yes, I occasionally do) with great sadness about the cancellation of the Space Shuttle program. I am afraid that NASA may not have uncovered the true potential of the Canadarm before the program's end. The heavens are getting more crowded, and a lot of these spaceships carry a lot of men. Space travel is not a place that can tolerate miscommunications, of which there is so much potential, especially when factoring in language barriers as astronauts from different nations participate in the fun. I believe the Canadarm has the potential to deliver clear and concise communications in times of emergency without the aforementioned misinterpretations.

Below I have taken the liberty to draw (as good as I can) a detailed diagram depicting an example of how the Canadarm may be utilised to its' fullest potential. It illustrates the intricacies of emergency communications, complete with gestures during a near-miss between the Space Shuttle and a Soyuz spacecraft. This communication system has been extensively tested and fine-tuned on our highways-system, with spectacular results. The messages are always clear, intelligible, unmistakable and cross all language barriers. Canada would be proud of its' technological-marvel's new role!