The Case of the Smoking Salmon

Did you watch the State of the Union address?  I did, up until Obama said…
  • there is one government agency that regulates salmon in freshwater;
  • there is another agency that regulates salmon in salt water; and
  • it gets even more complicated when it’s smoked.

He did.  He really did say that.  Did you hear it too?

On one hand, I can understand why his speech writers slip in a joke or two.  It shows that our President has a light side.  On the other hand, I have to wonder if I really want the leader of the free world taking up international air time and putting images like this in my mind… 

© Jonathan Herrero

Yes, that certainly would be complicated to regulate at the federal level. 

Caution: smoking is hazardous to your gills, fins, and scales.  It also hinders your ability to swim upstream.

This is America.  You know that some federal agent somewhere thought that Obama was talking about that kind of smoking fish.  I’d hate to be the guy who admits it, though.

All the time, all around us, there are misunderstandings.  Words are taken the wrong way.  Actions are interpreted differently than intended.  There is failure to understand each other’s intent.  When this happens, a lot of us don’t question.  We don’t dig deeper.  We take our first gut instinct and assume that we know without a doubt what the other person meant.  Misunderstandings can be very challenging, particularly when a serious matter is involved.  Nonetheless, we have to deal with them. 

According to an article written by Nathalie Himmelrich, she explained that only 7% of our communication is expressed in the words we say.  The rest lies in our tone of voice and in our body language.  When you think about how our forms of communication have changed over the last decade (e-mail, blogging, twittering, Facebook, etc.), could it be true that 93% of our messages are up to the other person’s interpretation?  Wow…that leaves a lot of room for misunderstandings; doesn’t it?!?

In my relationships, there have been too many misunderstandings to count.  Thankfully, there haven’t been any that I can recall that escalated beyond repair.  What about you?

In what types of situations do you typically jump to conclusions? 

In what ways are you most often misunderstood?

The Chameleon’s Backbone will be taking a much-needed break over the next week.  I’ll be back with you on Friday, February 4.

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Bonnie on January 26, 2011 at 8:29 am

    What an interesting and though-provoking post, Tracy! I too, tend to jump to conclusions or misunderstand most often when it comes to relationships. It’s the age-old way of life, I suppose. Love your site!


  2. “When you think about how our forms of communication have changed over the last decade (e-mail, blogging, twittering, Facebook, etc.), could it be true that 93% of our messages are up to the other person’s interpretation?”

    You said, Tracy! This is why I try very hard to read, and then reread everything I share on the Internet, so that I’m saying it exactly as I want it to be understood. But even so, it may still be up to the other person’s interpretation.

    Enjoy your much-needed break. See ya when you get back!

    Have a super Wednesday!


  3. Posted by suzicate on January 26, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Tone is very important and even then words can be misunderstood…I’ve reacted badly when I thought something else was meant and also have ticked others off unintentionally. Have a wonderful break!


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