Jaqui's Daily Blog

It Is All a Question of Interpretation

It’s all a question of interpretation, don’t you know?


I am not talking here about languages like French and German, being as my knowledge of both is limited to basic O Level standard. I did study Latin to a slightly higher standard but so far haven’t managed to impress anyone with this information, apart from occasionally displaying my ability to translate Latin inscriptions on ancient tombstones. 


But I digress (for which I don’t apologise, digression being second nature to the Daily Blog, as well you know.) I am talking about how easy it is to misinterpret a situation or a conversation, basing this view on a number of specific instances over the last couple of days. Let me elucidate. 


This afternoon I met up with Sue, my friend and co-leader of the Singing for Pleasure choir, to discuss Choir Related Matters. We agreed via email a date and time and that we would meet at “the usual place.” Unfortunately we each interpreted “the usual place” differently. I thought we were meeting at Duke’s coffee shop, where we hatched our initial plans for the choir. Sue thought we were meeting at the Heene Community Centre, where the choir assembles every Friday. In short, “the usual place.”


Waiting outside the coffee shop, my watch was telling me it was 2.33 p.m., three whole minutes after our scheduled time to meet and it occurred to me that Sue was generally a very Punctual Person.  A quick call from my mobile phone (whatever did we do before they were invented?) clarified the situation. Off I set to the Heene Centre, rehearsing my sincere apologies - which obviously weren’t needed, as Sue, being a Real Friend, thought it was most amusing. Her only concern was that I might have paid out for coffee at the café while waiting for her (I hadn’t.)


She knew exactly what I meant about interpretation, too, and told me the story of the fella who approached her at the bus stop to ask if “one was due?” She interpreted this as an enquiry about the Number 1 bus and went into a long-winded, but helpful, explanation about where he could catch the bus in question, how long he would have to wait between buses and how to find the right bus stop. At which point she realised he was looking at her as if she was quite, quite mad - on account of the fact that he was simply enquiring if a bus was due and had no interests whatsoever in knowing how often the Number One bus ran. See what I mean: it’s all a question of interpretation.


On Tuesday at our monthly cribbage session, I took misinterpretation to a whole new level. Delia (she of the delicious chocolate biscuits served up mid-session) was talking about a new book about using space effectively. So there I was thinking about how I can never remember which order the planets come in terms of proximity to the sun, not to mention the value, or otherwise, of the whole Space Shuttle programme - when I realised that everyone else was talking about what a good idea it was to roll up your clothes so that they took up less space in a chest of drawers. I felt a right wally.


Incidentally, I am given to understand that the best way to remember the order of the planets is by memorising the simple mnemonic “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles.” Don’t you just love it when the Daily Blog comes over all educational? It is a pity I can’t at the moment think of an equally ridiculous mnemonic to help with the rolling of jumpers in suitcases - but give me time...


Can see what I mean about interpretation? I hope I have explained it reasonably well.


Or - be honest, now - has it all got Lost in Translation? 


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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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