scouts-l Mail Archive for March of 2000: Re: Excuse me, but...
Cheryl Singhal (csinghal@CAPACCESS.ORG
Fri Mar 17 1972 - 10:01:36 CST
On Thu, 16 Mar 2000, John Wm. Unger wrote:
> To respond to a couple of points:
> Scenario: Scouter A takes training from Trainer Z. Scouter B takes the
> same training from Trainer Y. However, Trainer Z and Trainer Y utter
> (apparently) conflicting dictums concerning an issue. What then?
> when training. Training is not the forum for expressing one's opinions, and
> we who are trainers have a responsibility to stick to the curriculum as
> Further development of the scenario: We have two understandings of a
> term used in the publications, resulting in an ambiguity.
> My response: A number of considerations come into play here. With some
> exceptions, the written materials are not intended a legal documents, with
> narrowly defined meanings. A good dictionary and common usage will get you
Both of these address the same issue, and that issue isn't right/wrong.
It is *communication*.
I grew up in the Va/WV/Md area; we stood IN line, not ON line. In the
1970s my Credit Union went on-line but what they meant was they used a
computer for keeping their records.
A newcomer from Boston searched the town over for a Frappe in December
and couldn't find one -- it drove her crazy because she saw people
DRINKING them! Come May when we used to be able to buy a strawberry
frappe, she hated 'em. Turned out if she had only asked for a milkshake,
she'd have been a happy camper.
Last week, I had an infuriating round at a local Golden Arches
drive-thru. I wanted a sundae, the brown one. Now, I always called
those caramel, but this place always called them butterscotch, so I
ordered a butterscotch sundae. I eventually got it, but these days they
seem to be calling them caramel.
Last night, I did a round with the Bank of America about a CD that has
"come due" but has not yet run out of grace period. We had a 30 minute
misunderstanding about the term used to describe that situation! I'm
sittin here with a piece of paper that says X but the voices on the phone
are insisting Y.
My point? It isn't possible for a Texan (or a Virginian or a Californian
or a New Yorker) to write ANYTHING that is clear, unambiguous, and means
EXACTLY the same thing to residents of all 50 states. Even when they're
trying to do so. When they are *deliberately* leaving hidden gateways,
they open up trapdoors instead, into which a fair number of us routinely