When I came home from the office the other day, my wife was nowhere to be found, so I went out to see if she was in the garden. Sure enough she was busy in one of the out houses preparing new bedding for our cat hotel guests. (Yes we have a cat hotel). When she saw me she said “Hi Sweety, would you like to come and see the Christmas lights in the hotel?” Now to any inhabitant of planet Earth who understands English they would logically interpret this simple question for what it is: a friendly invitation to see the Christmas lights. They might even read in some extra implied information like: ‘I am proud of the way I put them up’, or ‘look how pretty they are’ or other such invitation for some appreciation.
But I speak a different language. I speak and understand EnglishPlus. This is a special language that I have learned over the years of being married. And with this superior linguistic skill I can understand the following:
- That my wife has spent a great deal of time putting up the Christmas decorations.
- That she, most likely tested the lights before she put them up (because she always does).
- That she knows that I know what they look like because they are very similar each year.
But my EnglishPlus skills also allow me to identify unique variants on the pronunciation of individual words (in this case her accent on the word ‘like’) and because of this skill I can reliably deduct that the Christmas lights are not working and that she would like me to drop what I am doing and immediately get to work to fix them.
Half an hour later, a faulty connector socket in the transformer unit is bypassed and a direct electrical connection is established and insulated for safety. Lights working.
Happy wife, happy Harley. Time for tea and toast.
So the point I am making is that sometimes it does not matter how well you understand words, you will never get the meaning unless you watch, listen and observe and understand that there is something much deeper going on when we communicate with each other.
Have a great week,