Thursday, December 22, 2005

Fun with Communication

Disclaimer – In any of my posts, I am stating my opinion, or others opinions, unless I specifically state that I am stating fact.

Update: Yolo Cowboy reminded me that there are actually 8 different meanings instead of the 6 I posted this morning, so I added the other two.

In my last two posts the subject of understanding of sentences in the Bible and what they really mean came up several times. A fellow blogger – “Three Score and Ten or More” commented about semantics and the ability and inability for humans to really understand “words and their meanings”, so I thought I would post on the subject.

Let us examine a single sentence and how many ways people could mean it when they said it, and how many ways others could take it.

“I never said that Robert was a thief.”

Can eight words produce eight different meanings?

1. - “I” never said that Robert was a thief. Somebody else may have said it, but “I” never said it.

2. - I “never” said that Robert was a thief. Not yet anyway. I might say it tomorrow.

3. - I never “said” that Robert was a thief. I might have “implied” it, but I never “said” it.

4. - I never said "that" Robert was a thief. I said the "other" Robert was a thief, not him.

5. - I never said that “Robert” was a thief. I said “Bob” was, not Robert.

6. - I never said that Robert “was” a thief. I said he “is” a thief.

7. - I never said that Robert was "a" thief. I said he was "the" thief.

8. - I never said that Robert was a “thief.” I said he “stole something.”

Have fun!


At 11:41 PM, Blogger Roseville Conservative said...

Whew!!! That sums up the threads I get into on my blog all the time.

When you sneeze, 100 people catch a cold. That's how important communication is...

At 11:49 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

If that one sentance was in the Bible and six people read it, each could come up with six different understandings of what was said.

And all six would accuse the others of being "wrong" about their view.



At 9:43 AM, Blogger Yolo Cowboy said...

I never said that Robert was a thief. I wrote that Robert was thief on my blog.

I never said that Robert was a thief. I said "That" Robert was thief. I like the other Robert.

At 11:51 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


Good one, I new there was one for "that", and now that I think about it, there is one for "a" as well.

At 9:05 AM, Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

You make a good point with this post! God Bless you and Merry Christmas FAR. You are a Great American :-).

At 7:59 AM, Blogger jj said...

That is a good one. However there would always be more information. Most would want more info than a single sentence.

That sentence can certainly be interpreted in different ways but if it was in the Bible it would be put in context. People will then interpret the context but that would cut down on the "rational" interpretations.

I know you will not agree but I see many contradictions in the Bible. Some see the book as a whole to be a book of love and understanding while others see it as a rigid, unbending rule book to live by or you go to hell.

Since both are right people may choose the way they wish to interpret the Bible which is why there are so many different "sects" in the Christian Church.

Which Church is correct?

Which religion is correct?
Since the religion you believe in has more to do with where you are born and raised(IE: Middle east-Muslim , Europe & Americas- Christian, Asia - Buddhism, India- Hindu etc.)which is correct?

Is someone born in India and raised to be a Hindu going to hell?

Since that is the only religion the person was exposed to through their life would God cast them out for having the "misfortune" of being born in the "wrong" part of the world?

Just wondering

At 3:24 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


See my reply in the post above this one, Strife and Contention.




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