Establishing vocabulary is vital
Posted Feb 24, 2007 5:46 UTC (Sat) by Max.Hyre
In reply to: Establishing vocabulary is useful
Parent article: Doesn't the Social Web Realize that People Talk? (O'ReillyNet)
I can't begin to count the number of times I've had to bring technical discussions to a momentary halt to define a word or phrase. Often two people in seeming agreement (or conflict) are assigning different, perfectly reasonable, meanings to the same word.
Another problem is pronouns. `That', `it', `he', &c., are obvious to the speaker, but often not to the hearers. One of the two smartest people I ever met (Hi, Ziggy!) was so egregious that, instead of using a sentence or phrase to ask for clarification, I just took to interjecting ``antecedents!'' every minute or two, whereupon he'd backtrack and disambiguate.
It always struck me as odd that such problems arise so often among engineers, whose jobs demand precision.
Clearing up those misunderstandings almost requires synchronous, voice, communication. If such an error becomes established in text, it can invalidate days of effort before being corrected.
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